Many people who get help from an estate planning lawyer are interested in avoiding probate. Probate occurs after someone dies, unless the deceased has taken specifics steps to avoid it and to facilitate the transfer of assets through other means. Taking these steps can make life a lot easier for your family.
Avoiding probate is worthwhile for many people, but you will need to decide if it makes sense for you to create an estate plan that does so. You need to work with an experienced attorney who understands the tools available to help you avoid probate. Parman & Easterday provides invaluable assistance to clients interested in finding ways to ensure that probate isn’t triggered upon their death. Call today to speak with an estate planning lawyer to find out about these options.
Benefits of Avoiding Probate
Probate occurs after a death when the executor named in the will files paperwork with the probate court. Depending upon the size and complexity of the estate, the process can take a long time and cause significant stress. Probate can sometimes be avoided if you make sure all your assets transfer outside of probate. Avoiding probate usually involves the use of multiple legal tools, including trusts.
If you are trying to decide if avoiding probate is worth the effort, carefully consider all the benefits of successfully transferring assets, when possible, free of probate. Some benefits of avoiding probate include:
- Avoid having information about your estate become a court record. The probate process takes place in probate court. Information becomes a matter of court record and could become public. If you want privacy, you want to avoid probate.
- Avoid the assessment of estate taxes. When assets transfer upon death, estate tax could be assessed. This is a concern for larger estates. However, if you own a family business or farm and the business or farm assets are considered a part of the estate, the estate tax could be triggered even if you do not have a lot of liquid assets. It could be difficult for heirs to pay estate taxes and they could be forced to sell assets. To avoid this, you want to explore ways to reduce or eliminate the estate tax.
- Facilitate faster transfer of assets to heirs. The probate process can be time consuming and the value of assets could be reduced if not carefully managed during probate. Your heirs could face financial struggles if they have to wait to inherit through probate. Property that is owned in a trust or jointly owned can transfer much more quickly, avoiding these problems.
- Heirs won’t have the stress of going to court. The probate court process, in addition to costing money, can be very stressful for your family. Executors may not know what to do to start or manage the estate during probate. Family fighting could also occur if there is disagreement over whether a will is valid and if family members contest the will during probate.
These are just a few of the advantages that can result if you ensure your estate will avoid probate when you pass away.
How a Probate Lawyer Can Help
For those interested in avoiding probate, the creation of a comprehensive and detailed estate plan is imperative. A probate lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in determining if it is worthwhile for you to try to avoid probate and can help you to take the steps necessary to successfully save your heirs from having to probate your estate. To learn more and to get the help you need, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call today at (405) 703-9987 or contact us online to learn more. We represent people seeking to avoid probate, as well as executors and heirs who are involved in the probate process.