When making plans to distribute your estate, you want something pretty straightforward and uncomplicated. Additionally, you want your estate to be distributed to your beneficiaries in the shortest time possible.
Therefore, you should consider methods that will help skip probate, the court-administered process of distributing your estate. Contrary to popular belief, having a will does not necessarily mean that the court will not be involved in distributing your estate. Even if your will explicitly states who gets what, everything has to go through probate, which has several drawbacks.
Probate can be costly
Depending on the size of your estate, probate can be expensive. First, there are legal and administrative fees involved. For instance, your estate will be subject to probate fees as well as legal representation costs. All these can amount to a tidy sum, money which would have otherwise gone to your beneficiaries.
Probate takes times
Since it is a court-controlled process, things take time. The process can drag on for months, and during that time, your beneficiaries cannot claim their share of your estate until everything is finalized.
Probate is a public process
Probate proceedings are considered public records. It means that anyone can access matters about your estate and family. If you would prefer some privacy when distributing your estate, then probate is not the way to go.
Here is what you should do
There are several ways of avoiding probate, such as setting up a trust for your assets or having property on joint ownership, among others. To settle on the right one, it is necessary to factor in several aspects of your estate, including the size and number of beneficiaries.
Making the right decision is very important, and it will secure the interests of your estate and beneficiaries after you are gone.