“Probate” is a term that is used often in the estate planning world. Many people assume that they need to avoid probate, and that it’s a complicated process. Before making your own decisions regarding probate, it’s important to be informed on the topic. Take a look at the following information, to learn more. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to discuss probate avoidance planning, contact a qualified estate planning attorney.
So, You May Be Wondering, What Exactly is Probate Anyway?
Probate is a legal process that occurs after the death of an individual. During this process, any will is validated, and the individual’s affairs are handled so that his or her property can be properly transferred. The will needs to be validated, to ensure that it’s legal, and that its instructions were truly created by the individual.
Individual Ownership Triggers Probate, Not a Will
If the individual took the time to create a will, probate occurs. Even if the individual chose not to draft a will, probate still occurs. Probate is triggered by individually owned assets. In other words, if you own assets in your name, and your name alone, probate is guaranteed.
Some people choose to avoid probate. This requires additional planning, in order to be effective.
Why would you want to avoid probate? Probate is a public process, which means that each individual’s affairs are made public at the courthouse. Anyone such as nosey neighbors and predators can access personal and financial information.
Additionally, probate can take a long time, and can cost a lot of money. Many people want to ensure that their beneficiaries receive their inheritances quickly, so they plan to avoid probate.
Where to Get More Probate Information
It’s important that you understand probate, before making estate planning decisions. To learn more about the probate process, take a look at our next blog post (part 2 of 2.) If you have any additional questions about probate, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.