The estate planning process is one that addresses concerns that arise after you die. The practical details of transferring your property to new owners often require your family to first go through the probate process. This is the legal process through which property is transferred to new owners after the original owner dies. This process can cost your estate money and time, and lead to you having less to pass on to your inheritors then you would like. Here are three reasons why it is a good idea to create an estate plan that allows you to avoid probate whenever possible.
Reason 1: Lack of Privacy
The probate process is a civil court process, and it is open to public inspection. As soon as a personal representative opens a probate case by, for example, filing your last will and testament, the document is open for anyone to inspect.
Reason 2: Time
Once you die, your property will be managed by your executor or personal representative. This management process will continue until a probate court makes its final decision about who can inherit your property. Until then, the property is not really owned by anyone, and your family may have to wait a long time to benefit from any inheritance.
Reason 3: Money
The costs associated with probate usually come from attorneys fees, management fees, and executor fees. The longer a probate case goes on, the larger the fees will be and the less money there will be to distribute. In general, it’s best to avoid any fees at all so you can leave as much of your property to your heirs as possible.