The Vastness of the Law

Options For Mitigating The Need For Your Survivors To Go Through Probate Court

Probate court can be a long and expensive process that can create a lot of stress and frustration for your loved ones. Estate planning can help minimize the need for probate court and ensure your assets are correctly distributed among your survivors.

Understanding The Estate Planning Process

Estate planning involves the creation of a legal document that outlines your plans for the distribution of your assets. Proper estate planning can also help minimize tax liabilities, leaving more of your assets to your loved ones.

The potential to avoid probate court is one of the primary benefits of creating an estate plan. Probate court is a lengthy process that can take months or even years to complete. Your assets may be tied up and unavailable to your loved ones. In addition, probate court proceedings can be expensive because they involve substantial legal fees and court costs. This can severely reduce the available assets you can transfer to your survivors.

Utilize Trusts To Avoid Probate

Trusts are legal documents that allow a trustee to manage your assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. Assets in a trust are available for distribution after your death without the need for probate court, saving time and money.

You can use multiple options when establishing a trust for your assets. For example, some living trusts can be amended, changed,  or revoked. Additionally, a charitable trust can support a charitable organization while providing tax benefits. However, these regulations can be complex, and you should work with a professional to determine the optimal strategy for your estate.

Transfer Property Outside Of Probate

There are several ways to transfer property outside of probate. One way is to designate beneficiaries for financial accounts and retirement plans. By designating beneficiaries, your assets will be transferred directly to your chosen beneficiaries after your death, bypassing probate court. Estate planning attorneys advise you on the options that work best with your needs and assets to create an optimal plan for transferring your assets to your loved one.

Work With A Professional To Prepare Your Estate Plan

When preparing your estate plan, it is vital to include all of the necessary documents. An estate planning attorney can work with you to gather and prepare these documents. In addition to sparing you from spending hours on this task yourself, a professional attorney can also avoid the risk of mistakes being made. Changes in your personal or financial circumstances may require changes to your estate plan. Reviewing your plan with your attorney every few years can help ensure it remains up-to-date and relevant.   

For more information, contact a local estate planning lawyer