We try to educate people about some of the intricacies of estate planning because many individuals go forward with certain misconceptions. They don’t understand the value of comprehensive estate planning because they don’t know all the facts.
Imagine a mental picture of a family getting together after a funeral. Someone takes control of the proceedings and reads the last will of the deceased. Everyone then receives inheritances and the matter is closed, right?
In truth the above is a mythical scenario that does not exist. Any time someone passes away he or she may have had outstanding business such as open debts and tax responsibilities. Interested parties have the right to seek satisfaction from an estate. People with a valid case also have the right to contest the contents of a last will.
As a result the legal process of probate exists, and no one will receive inheritances until the estate has been probated and closed by the court.
This process can be costly because the court charges a fee, and there are other expenses. Plus, it can take a considerable amount of time to run its course. It is also a public proceeding so everyone and anyone can access the probate records.
For these reasons people often try to implement strategies that will enable probate avoidance when they are making estate plans. If you simply did not know about the process of probate and all that it entails you may go forward with expectations that are based on a lack of information.
One of the most tried-and-true ways to avoid probate would be to place resources into a revocable living trust rather than relying on a last will to direct future asset transfers. These trusts are quite popular, and you may want to discuss the possibility of creating one with a licensed estate planning attorney.
To learn more, please download our free Probate in Connecticut: Can It Be Avoided report.