What is Probate?
Probate is the process that comes after someone with a will passes away. We always see some guy on TV reading a persons will to their loved ones, describing what is left to them. And you would think that distribution happens immediately, but it does not. There is actually an entire administration process that happens in court. The court will supervise the administration process. Even if someone doesn’t have an estate plan, the court may still have jurisdiction. Typically, when a person creates a will, they name a representative to oversee it when they are gone. If they didn’t name anyone, the court will do it.
The Con’s Of Probate
If the deceased has any debts left behind, those must be resolved before the redistribution of assets. Creditors are given a window of time to come forward with claims. Also, the will itself must be proved to be valid. Documents will be examined by the court to ensure their legitimacy. Any costs accumulated during this process such as attorney fees must be paid by the inheritors as well. There is almost no privacy during these times as probate hearings are public. Anyone with an interest in what is going on can sit in and listen.
The Ways Around It
In order to avoid having to go through probate, it is best to establish a living trust. Putting all of your assets into a trust avoids the chance of losing them. The beneficiary of your estate will distribute assets according to your directions. And you may add any stipulations you want. For example, if you leave money behind and you want it distributed slowly over time, you ay do so. You may also change your terms as you wish before you pass on. Changing beneficiaries, trustees, etc.
Schedule A Consultation
Our Nowata Estate Planning Lawyers are standing by to help you or to answer any questions you may have about probate law or estate planning. Call the office of Heskett & Heskett today for more information.