If you’ve been looking into getting estate planning services then you’ve probably seen the word “probate” thrown around a lot. To many, probate is a completely mysterious process. However, if you want to take control of your estate planning and ensure that your wishes are fulfilled, you need to illuminate the mystery and know exactly what probate is and why you want to avoid it. That’s why we’re here to help you with a simple guide on probate.
What Is It?
Probate is a legal process that begins after someone passes away. Assuming that the person’s will is found to be legitimate, probate begins with creating a list of their property and appraising it. Afterwards, any debts are paid prior to the distribution of property in accordance with that person’s will. In light of this, there are two big reasons that everyone should strive to avoid probate as much as possible. First, any property that is exempt from probate cannot be taxed or used to pay off debts. Second, the longer that probate goes on, the more legal fees eat into the deceased’s assets which would otherwise be inherited.
How Can I Avoid It?
Effective estate planning can use several routes to mitigate how much property has to go through probate. First, a trust can enable you to revoke ownership of assets prior to passing and automatically distribute those assets from the trust without probate. Second, if you and your spouse have joint ownership of your home with a right of survivorship then your spouse can automatically receive your share of the home after death. Third, many types of retirement and bank accounts can have beneficiaries listed who will receive their contents upon the death of the owner.
Of course, these are just a few of the many ways to reduce the impact of probate. Estate planning never lends itself to a one size fits all approach and your unique situation will dictate what tools you should use. That’s why you need a legal team that will be attentive to you as an individual and work to give you the best possible solution. At Morgan Legal Group we have a reputation not only for being knowledgeable but also for the commitment we show each and every client. Schedule a consultation today and find out how we can help you defeat probate.