Probate is a legal and financial process supervised by a court that happens following a person’s death. Because the probate process can be lengthy, exhausting, and stressful, people would want to avoid it whenever possible.
Avoiding probate requires careful planning. You need to work with an estate planning attorney in McKinney, TX who will consider your needs to create a strategy. They may recommend establishing joint ownership for real estate, creating a living trust, giving away property before you die, or converting your bank and retirement account to payable-on-death accounts to avoid probate. Also, they will emphasize the importance of working with a lawyer to know how to title your property so probate won’t be necessary when transferring ownership. The following are some reasons you will want to avoid probate:
It Prevents Your Family from Getting Immediate Access to Cash
If your estate undergoes probate, your beneficiaries or heirs may need to wait for weeks, months, or even years to access their inheritance. They can be stuck footing the bill for your funeral and household utilities during this time. They may be barred from accessing the funds in your bank account. If you were your family’s main provider, the probate process may put them in financial trouble. Plus, they will need to keep paying property insurance premiums and property taxes, which could increase their financial strain. If your spouse is not working and does have access to her own funds, your family may find it difficult to meet even daily costs like rent, food, and healthcare. To ensure you don’t put them in this kind of struggle, you should do something to avoid probate.
It Can Be Expensive
Probate proceedings can take a long time, especially if there are complications or claims against the estate. Your dependents will need to pay their attorney’s fees during the probate period. Even a modest estate composed of a home, a vehicle, and some bank or investment accounts can lead to legal fees in the tens of thousands of dollars. Such fees are payable out of your estate. In some instances, it can be paid from the sale of assets you wanted to leave to your heirs.
It Will Put Your Estate Details in the Public Domain
Because probate is a public proceeding, information about your estate becomes accessible to anyone. This information includes assets, beneficiaries, representatives, and liabilities. Sometimes, probate files may even be available for viewing online.