Probate is the process that an estate must pass through under most circumstances unless steps are taken to avoid it.
When you use a last will to arrange for the transfer of assets that you personally owned at the time of your death, the property is going to become probate property. It is not distributed to the heirs to the estate until the probate process has run its course.
There are however some limited circumstances under which probate would not be necessary here in Davenport, Iowa.
Davenport Iowa Probate Shortcuts
In Davenport, Iowa, if the estate is comprised of assets that do not exceed $25,000 in value and there is no real estate involved, the property could potentially be passed through the execution of a simple affidavit.
There is also a simplified probate process for relatively small estates in Iowa. An estate may qualify for simplified probate if the assets that would typically be considered probate assets do not exceed $100,000.
Why Avoid Probate?
You may wonder why anyone would want to avoid probate in Davenport, Iowa. While it does provides certain protections to various interested parties, it comes with some pitfalls.
For one thing, there are expenses that can pile up during probate. Money that is coming out of the estate to pay these expenses would otherwise be going to the heirs.
In addition to the expense factor, probate can be quite time-consuming. Complicated cases can actually be held up in probate for years. Simple, routine cases will take months.
This time lag can create hardships for certain family members who may have been relying on the decedent for support. Short of this, no one wants to wait for months or even years for a rightful inheritance.
Transferring Assets Outside of Probate
If your estate does not qualify for a simple affidavit procedure or a simplified probate, you can take proactive steps to enable probate avoidance.
There are various different ways of going about this. One way to facilitate probate avoidance in Davenport would be to arrange for asset transfers through the creation of a revocable living trust.
With this type of trust you do not surrender control of the funds while you are still living. After you die, the trustee that you choose distributes monetary assets to the beneficiaries according to your wishes outside of probate.
There are other possible probate avoidance strategies that can be utilized. The optimal choice will depend on the circumstances. There are legal devices that can facilitate probate avoidance for the sake of convenience while simultaneously satisfying other estate planning concerns.
If you would like to learn more about Davenport Iowa probate and the various ways that you can avoid it, feel free to contact our firm to request a free consultation. We will answer all of your questions, evaluate your situation, and make the appropriate recommendations.