When you pass away your loved ones will be forced to deal with the emotional grief that will inevitably accompany your passing. Given the circumstances they certainly will be in no mood for hassles and red tape. Unfortunately, if you use a last will as your primary vehicle of asset transfer there may be some delays and they can be quite lengthy in some cases.
Probate is the process of estate administration, and it is conducted under the auspices of the probate court. Your will is going to be examined by the court, and if anyone wanted to contest it they would come forward during probate. Clearly, if this takes place a lengthy legal struggle could ensue, and no one is going to receive inheritances until everything has been sorted out and the estate has been closed.
Even in simpler cases where there are no disagreements probate can be time-consuming. Creditors and claimants have an opportunity to seek satisfaction during the probate process, and the executor is going to have to inventory the assets and prepare them for distribution. This can include things like appraisals and liquidation of real and personal property. As you might imagine all this can take a good bit of time.
A more streamlined way of distributing assets would be to create a revocable living trust while you are still alive. And, this is just one of multiple different probate avoidance options that exist.
The best way to arrange for the transfer of your assets is going to vary on a case-by-case basis. To be sure that you are proceeding in the optimal manner, the intelligent course of action is to sit down and discuss your vision for the future with a licensed and experienced Hartford estate planning lawyer.