You should discuss your situation with an estate planning lawyer because you may not be aware of certain legal details. They are not complicated after you learn about them, but you are not going to be aware of every estate related law, and why would you be?
The matter of probate is one of those details. We will provide you with an explanation in this post.
A lot of people think that the executor can transfer assets to the people named in a will shortly after the death of the person in question. In reality, executors are required to present the will to the probate court before the assets can be distributed to the family.
You probably want your loved ones to receive their inheritances as soon as possible. Unfortunately they will have to play a waiting game when probate is part of the picture. The exact time frame will depend on the situation. Regardless, you are looking at about eight months at best in most cases.
There are expenses that shave down the value of the estate, which is another negative aspect of probate. Further, probate records are public. This means anybody that wants to know, can find out how you decided to spread around your assets.
Simply put, probate is a hassle for the people that are going to be receiving inheritances. They are going through a difficult time, and this makes a tough situation that much worse.
Out of State Property
One probate is more than enough, but if you own property out of state, it gets worse. An Oklahoma probate court would handle the estate in our state. An ancillary probate process would be necessary in the other state.
Your family would be forced to deal with both of these procedures at once, one of them taking place in a different state. You definitely do not want this type of mess to fall into the laps of your family after you are gone.
Revocable Living Trust
Fortunately, there is a way out of it, and it starts with the creation of a revocable living trust. You are the trustee of your trust so you do not need to be worried about losing control of your assets. This allows you to maintain total access of the money and the other resources.
If you want to revoke the trust for some reason, you can do that at any time. You can also change the terms whenever you want. Property that is located in any state can be transferred into the trust.
You name a successor trustee to administer the trust after you are gone. You also name your inheritors as beneficiaries. When the time comes, the trustee would give inheritances to the people that are named. The probate court would not be involved at all.
This is one of the advantages of a living trust. There is another advantage that is important to some people. If you don’t want to give someone an inheritance all at once because they are not good with money, you have options when you have a living trust.
Let’s say that you want the person to get $2000 a month, and you know that the assets generate that much income. You could leave instructions for the trustee to send this much each month. The trustee would be required to follow these instructions.
The principal would continue to generate this income indefinitely. This allows you to instruct the trustee to start giving out larger amounts when the beneficiary gets older. This is just an example, but you can leave any instructions that you want when you have a living trust.
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We enjoy sharing information about important subjects like this one at our real-time webinars. When you attend one of these sessions, you get to interact with a local Oklahoma City estate planning attorney without leaving your home, so this is a great opportunity.
The dates are posted on our webinar schedule page, and there are registration instructions. We ask that you go ahead and register so we know how many people to expect.