You may assume that you should use a last will to arrange for the future distribution of your monetary resources. This is certainly an option that is available to you. Indeed, the last will is the most commonly utilized asset transfer vehicle in the field of estate planning.
Though you can use a last will, you should understand the facts. The heirs to the estate do not immediately receive their inheritances when you have a will in place. The executor that you nominate when you create the will must first admit the document to probate.
Probate is a legal process that takes place under the supervision of a court. There are three major drawbacks that come along with the probate process.
1.) Time Consumption
Probate is a time-consuming legal process. Every estate is different, and the complexity of the case in question will impact the time frame as you might imagine. However, suffice to say the probate is going to take months at minimum.
There are complicated cases that can be stalled in probate for multiple years.
2.) Loss of Privacy
Probate is a public proceeding. Anything that goes on during probate becomes a matter of public record. For various reasons, you may not want the general public to know exactly how you decided to distribute your resources.
There are innumerable expenses that can add up during the probate process. These would include accounting fees, legal expenses, court costs, appraisal fees, liquidation charges, the executor’s remuneration, and other ad hoc expenses.
All of the money that is spent during probate is going to whittle down the value of the estate.
Now that that you have heard about some of the drawbacks of probate, you may wonder if it is possible to arrange for the transfer of your assets to your loved ones outside of probate.
It is indeed possible to facilitate asset distributions outside of the probate process. One very commonly utilized probate avoidance tool is the revocable living trust.
With a revocable living trust you name a trustee to administer the trust after you die. You leave behind instructions for the trustee to follow when you create the trust agreement.
After you pass away, the trustee will follow your instructions and make monetary distributions to the beneficiaries in accordance with your wishes. The actions of the trust are not subject to the legal process of probate.
Free Report on Probate
This has been a brief look at probate and some of the drawbacks that come along with it. If you would like to learn more, we have produced an in-depth special report that puts the process of probate under the microscope.
This report is available to our readers free of charge. To download the report, click this link: Free Probate Report.