Why you should avoid probate and opt for estate planning

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Elder Law And Nursing Home Issues, Estate Planning, Estate Planning And Administration |

Many people begin their estate planning journeys without understanding what the related legal terms are, which can be confusing and can lead people to make decisions that may not be in their best interests.

For example, one of those words is probate. Probate is the legal process of proving a will and settling the affairs of a person who passes away. The process takes place in probate court.

Many people think everyone must go through probate, right? Well, not necessarily.

This is where more information comes in and it is important for people to know and understand that they have options. You can avoid probate, which is the public legal process of distributing your assets and settling your debts, through the courts if you want to.

Why avoid probate?

People usually want to avoid probate because it is:

  • Expensive
  • Time consuming
  • Public
  • It gives you little control over your assets
  • Creates the perfect environment for family disputes

What alternatives do I have?

This is a great question and one that most people ask when they learn about probate.

Estate planning is the first answer, which is creating legal documents such as wills, trusts and powers of attorney to ensure your wishes are carried out smoothly and quickly after you pass.

Other tools available in estate planning are trusts, designating beneficiaries and co-ownership of property. Your attorney can explain what these mean and how to do it.

When you work with an estate planning attorney, you tailor an estate plan that fits your needs and goals, which provides you and your loved ones with peace of mind.

Is estate planning only for rich people?

No, estate planning is not only for the wealthy. Creating an estate plan and securing one’s legacy is open to anyone who wants to protect their assets and ensure their loved ones are protected.

Planning for the future

When you think of the years ahead, especially your end-of-life plans, while it may be sad, it is also important to remember the legacy you will leave behind.

You matter, and your family will cherish their memories with you. This process helps you give yourself and your family members peace of mind after your passing and reassurance that you had professional advice to help guide you in these legal matters.