When you use a last will to express your final wishes the administration of the estate is not something that is done privately.
The administration of the estate is supervised by the probate court that is local to the deceased individual in question. Probate provides individuals or entities who have outstanding business with the estate to come forward seeking closure. Anyone who wanted to challenge the estate could do so during the probate process.
Probate can delay the distribution of assets to the rightful heirs for months and sometimes years and complicate cases. There are also considerable expenses that go along with the process. Because of these pitfalls people do look for ways to avoid probate.
There is no law saying you have to use a last will to direct the future transfer of your assets. You may have heard of revocable living trusts, and one of the primary reasons why people use these trusts is to avoid the probate process.
If you choose to use a revocable living trust in lieu of a last will you do still have to include a type of will called a “pour-over” will. This document directs any assets that you may have left your personal possession at the time of your death into the trust.
Learn more about the value of a revocable living trusts we urge you to take a moment to download our free report on the subject. If you click this link and fill the form that you see on the right we will send you access to this valuable free report: Iowa Living Trust Report
Duffy Law Office is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.