To ensure you take care of your loved ones after your death, you cultivate a sound estate plan. Did you take steps to avoid probate?
Forbes describes how not avoiding probate sometimes becomes a misstep when securing your legacy. Learn how to make sure your assets pass on to your heirs and benefactors without delay.
The cost of probate
Probate works differently in different states, which means your loved ones may endure a lengthy and expensive legal process before they receive assets you left for them. Further, your beneficiaries may wonder if they even receive all the assets you left for them if those assets qualify for probate. Depending on the states in which you own assets, your estate may qualify for probate in multiple geographic locations.
The public nature of probate
How do you feel about everyone gaining access to your estate’s worth? Something else worth mentioning about probate is its public nature. People have the right to rifle through probate court records to calculate your estate’s value. Further, anyone may see your lingering debts, an inventory of your possessions and how you divided your estate among your beneficiaries.
The assets that sidestep probate
You do not have to worry about every asset going through probate. Co-owned property, life insurance, retirement accounts and annuities all avoid probate court by operation of law. You may also shift assets into a revocable living trust to keep them from going through probate.
The benefits of probate
Do not get the impression that every aspect of probate serves as a nuisance. You may prefer the court to review your asset distributions, and probate may make it difficult for someone to challenge asset ownership.
Educate yourself on the particulars of probate. Doing so may help settle any nerves you have regarding estate planning.