The probate process should run quickly and smoothly, but this is not always guaranteed and the leading reason why people choose to use estate planning strategies and tactics to avoid the probate process. Probate refers to the process of distributing an individual’s assets after he or she passes away through court supervision.
One of the most important aspects that determines the process of probate is whether or not the individual has a last will and testament in place at the time of his or her death. Any assets that do not pass directly to the beneficiaries will go through the probate process.
Some of the assets that are exempted from probate include, life insurance policy, distributions and certain retirement benefits. Even if you believe that you have a relatively simple estate, it will still be in your best interests to avoid probate. This is because the probate process can swallow up resources and time that delay your loved ones’ ability to receive your assets but can also add further stress and can lengthen the amount of time that it takes to close out your estate by years or even months.
Taking care of your loved ones and ensuring that they receive your assets in a prompt manner in addition to receiving privacy are some of the leading reasons why people prefer to use estate planning tools such as trusts. The probate process may work well for small estates in certain instances, especially for those who died without a last will, but most other people will want to go through the process of ensuring that their assets are passed on quickly and effectively to their loved ones.