When you hear people citing reasons why you may want to consider the implementation of probate avoidance strategies two primary things will be mentioned. One of them would be the expenses that can be incurred during the probate process.
During probate the executor is going to have to prepare the assets for distribution, pay outstanding debts, settle tax bills, and perhaps fend off legal challenges. This all costs money in the form of fees for accountants, attorneys, appraisers, and liquidators. In addition to the professional services that may be engaged the court itself actually imposes a charge that is based on the value of the estate.
The other primary reason why people avoid probate is because of the fact that it takes a lot of time for this process to run its course. Exactly how long it will take depends on the complexity of the case in question, but there have been estates that have been hung up in probate for years.
We would like to mention a third reason that is not as commonly pointed out. The events that take place during the probate process are all a matter of public record. There are individuals who would like their final affairs to remain totally private, and they may have various different very good reasons for feeling this way.
This privacy can be gained via the utilization of a revocable living trust rather than a last will as your primary vehicle of asset transfer.
Should you be interested in creating such a trust the first step is to sit down and discuss all the details with a licensed and experienced Oklahoma City estate planning lawyer.
Author, President and Founding Attorney
Parman & Easterday