There are many reasons why you may be interested in avoiding probate. To avoid probate, you must make an estate plan well in advance of the time that you pass away. After your death, it will be too late for your family to avoid probate and they will need to go through the probate process. You can spare your loved ones the hassle of the probate process and the costs of probate by working with an experienced attorney to make a probate avoidance estate plan.
Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates has provided help to many clients in avoiding probate. Our Connecticut probate and estate planning attorneys can explain to you the benefits of avoiding probate, can help you to determine if probate avoidance is possible in your case, and can guide you through using the right legal tools to avoid probate. Give us a call today to find out more about the ways in which an experienced attorney can help you to keep your family out of probate court.
Top 4 Benefits of Avoiding Probate
The reasons you have for avoiding probate may vary depending upon the kind of property you own and your family situation. However, four key benefits of avoiding the probate process include:
- Saving money: Investopedia estimates that the cost of the probate process can be as much as three to seven percent of an estate’s value. You can spare your heirs or beneficiaries the loss of a portion of their inheritance by allowing assets to transfer outside of the expensive probate process.
- Saving time: Investopedia also estimates that the probate process can take around a year. A simple estate could be probated in less time, but a complicated probate process could take longer. This is a long time for loved ones to wait to inherit.
- Protecting an inheritance (and heirs): During the probate process, an executor of an estate is in charge of estate assets. The executor of an estate may not have the knowledge and experience in managing assets that new owners would have, and this can lead to financial loss. A period of uncertainty in the transition of ownership during the lengthy probate process could also damage the value of some assets, like a family business. The sooner the wealth can transfer to new owners, the less chance of problems arising that lead to losses.
- Increasing the chances your wishes will be respected: A will can sometimes be contested and be declared invalid. There is either no possibility of this happening or a significantly reduced chance of your wishes not being respected with other methods of asset transfer outside the probate process.
Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates can help you to realize these benefits by taking steps to avoid the probate process through smart estate planning.
How Can You Avoid Probate?
There are many different ways that you can avoid the probate process. An estate planning lawyer will assist you in identifying the best legal tools for probate avoidance based on the kind of property that you own. Some of those tools could include:
- The creation of trusts, which allow assets to transfer through trust administration rather than through the probate process.
- The use of pay on death accounts, which make it possible for an account balance to be paid out to a designated beneficiary upon your death so the account does not have to be transferred through the probate process.
- Incorporation of a company, which can help to facilitate the transfer of ownership shares during your lifetime rather than the business and its assets transferring after your death.
- Inter vivos gifts, which are gifts given during the course of your lifetime instead of after you pass away.
- Joint ownership, which includes titling property as joint tenants with rights of survivorship so the property can automatically go to co-owners after death instead of being transferred through the probate process.
There may also be additional tools you can use to help your loved ones take advantage of the benefits of avoiding probate.
Getting Help from A Connecticut Probate and Estate Planning Lawyer
To find out more about the benefits of avoiding probate or the ways in which a probate and estate planning lawyer can help you to avoid the probate process, download our free estate planning worksheet. You can also give us a call at 860-548-1000 or contact us online to get personalized advice about the steps to probate avoidance and the ways in which probate avoidance can benefit your heirs or beneficiaries. Give us a call now to get started.