Probate is often seen as a time-consuming, tedious, and life-altering process, which makes it something to be avoided if possible. The American probate process creates unnecessary fees and delays, leading many to look for ways around the system. Here, readers will learn many of the “The Problem With Probate In America And Ways To Fix It.”
What’s Involved in the Probate Process?
Probate is a legal procedure that is followed after a person dies. The process activates their last will and testament. A lawyer files the document with a probate court requesting approval for the will. The estate executor is responsible for performing various steps in the probate process. First, the deceased person’s property is inventoried. Everything, including real estate, jewelry, and other possessions, has a value assigned. All debts, including taxes, are paid from the estate. Once these issues are addressed, beneficiaries get their inheritances. The entire process can take months or even years to finish, but there’s help available. Check out this article source to learn how an attorney can help with probate.
Probate Is Too Expensive
A primary reason to avoid probate is its high cost. The estate will pay a lawyer to handle the paperwork and any necessary court appearances. While the estate executor is entitled to a fee, families typically waive it. The courts also assess probate fees. These charges can add up quickly, which is why many people look for ways to stay out of probate.
It’s Too Slow
Another reason not to go into probate is that it takes a very long time. A person’s assets cannot be distributed to his or her beneficiaries until probate has concluded, which means no one can access the funds in the estate. Bills, taxes, and funeral expenses may have to be paid out of pocket until the person’s estate can provide a refund. Investments and bank accounts are frozen until the probate process is over. According to realtimecampaign.com, many jurisdictions have “small estate” laws, which allow families to avoid the slow, tedious nature of probate.
It Makes Everything Public
When a person’s will goes through the probate process, it becomes part of the public record. Many people want to keep their affairs out of the public eye, and if this describes one’s situation, it’s a good idea to sidestep probate if possible. With a living trust or a transfer on death form, it may be possible to have assets go directly to beneficiaries with no public display or court intervention.
It Creates Family Strife
When a will is probated, beneficiaries and others will have an opportunity to contest it. When a person explains who gets what in their will, it may lead to resentment, jealousy, family feuds, and resentment. If there’s someone in the family who may disagree with this decision, keeping a will out of probate will reduce delays and save on attorney’s fees.
Getting Around Probate
There are a few ways to keep a will out of probate, but they all require planning. Jointly held property can be passed outside of probate if it is set up properly. Bank accounts can receive a transfer on death designation, which means the proceeds go to a chosen person when one passes away. Life insurance policy funds do not go through the probate process, and trusts allow people to pass assets to beneficiaries without the hassle and expense.
Get Legal Help
Probate creates numerous inconveniences for families, and the costs and delays can be frustrating at an already trying time. By avoiding probate, it’s possible to plan for and avoid most of its challenges. Contact the team at Cunningham Legal to learn more about avoiding the probate process.