One of the reasons why you are working hard is because you want to provide a good life for your family. You don’t mind facing challenges on your own as long as your family is living comfortably. But can your family still experience the same after your passing? Can you still guarantee that they can live a happy life when you’re gone? Estate planning can become the answer to those questions. But before listing down all of your heirs, you should first consider probate as this can greatly affect your estate.
What Is Probate?
All of your possessions and properties go through a process that includes settlement and distribution of your assets in accordance to your will. This is basically what the probate litigation process is all about. This is managed by the state’s probate court. However, different states have different laws pertaining to probate and real estate. If you want to determine if your estate is required to undergo a probate proceeding, what reports are to be prepared for the process or if the fiduciary must be bonded, it’s best that you educate yourself with the laws your state is following.
Probate affects your estate in more ways than one. Some people may view probate as something that is an advantage while some, as a disadvantage. To check if probate will work well with your situation, consider the points below.
Here are some of the benefits you can get once your estate goes through probate:
- Probate is a trustworthy procedure for redistributing your properties and assets if no one in the family can do it.
- Probate enforces and validates your intentions if there is a will in place.
- Probate ensures payment of claimed debts and other taxes on the estate which means that there is a certainty to your affairs, rather than creating an uncertain feeling for your family members.
- Probate allows a brief window for creditors to pursue a claim if you have debts. This can lead to more debt forgiveness.
On the other side of the coin, the following are the downsides to probate:
- Probate is a matter of public record. This means that personal family and other financial information can be accessed and viewed by the public.
- Probate is a legal process which requires costs and fees. All of these can be deducted from the value of the estate involved in the process.
- Probate is time-consuming. Your family members will have to wait months and even years before assets and properties are turned over to them.
- Probate can become stressful over time. Everyone involved in the process – your family members and executors – will have to pour out time and effort just so the process can be ironed out quickly.
- Probate also means that you won’t have any control over the distribution of your property after your passing. That’s why it’s better to plan your distributions while you’re still alive so you can have full control as to where all of your assets and properties will end up.
In a nutshell, everything about probate and estate planning might seem alien to you. There are several factors to consider and processes to follow. If you think you can no longer manage all of these on your own, work with a will and trust litigation lawyer like this one here. Never think that your DIY solutions will work because since this involves the law, you need to have professional and experienced service.
Key Takeaway Points
Contrary to popular belief, estate planning is for every family. It does not only qualify those who are wealthy – as long as you have valuable assets and properties for your family, you should put estate planning on top of your list. Along with the information presented in this article and the help of a professional lawyer, for sure, you can plan for your estate while considering probate in the process!