Avoiding probate is possible if you work with an estate planning attorney at Zimmer Law Firm to create a plan. If you want to allow your assets to pass outside of the probate process, you need to take actions that go beyond just making a last will and testament. You’ll need to use different approaches such as the use of a trust to assets can transfer through the trust administration process or the creation of a family limited partnership or structuring ownership of your assets as joint ownership.
Because there is more involved in the process of making an estate plan if your goal is avoiding probate, you may wonder why you would want to go through the trouble. There are actually a lot of reasons why taking steps to avoid probate makes sense. Read on to find out about five key reasons avoiding probate benefits your heirs or beneficiaries.
1. Your Heirs Or Beneficiaries Won’t Have to Go to Court
If you are able to facilitate the transfer of assets outside of the probate process, your loved ones will be happy and grateful because they will not have to deal with complicated court proceedings. Going to court can be burdensome, especially when trying to cope with grief. Your family can escape hearings and won’t have to worry about coming before a judge if you transfer assets outside of probate.
2. Your Heirs Or Beneficiaries Will Inherit More Quickly
Your loved ones may be depending upon the inheritance you provide to them but unfortunately, it could take a very long time for them to receive it. According to Investopedia, it will take around a year for the probate process to complete. Your loved ones could be left in limbo without an inheritance they were counting on during this entire time. They will be much happier if you are able to avoid probate and facilitate the timely transfer of assets to them so they will have the money and property they need and so they can move on with their lives sooner.
3. Your Heirs Or Beneficiaries Could Receive a Larger Inheritance
The probate process can cost a lot of money. Investopedia estimates its costs at around three percent to seven percent of the value of the estate. The costs could be higher if there is a conflict over the validity of the will or if your estate is an especially complicated one. The costs of probate could reduce the value of an inheritance, leaving your loved ones with less.
If you have a very large estate and have left money or property to someone other than a spouse, estate tax could also reduce the value of an inheritance because your estate may have to pay a lot of tax to the IRS. If you can find a way to reduce or avoid estate tax, your heirs or beneficiaries will be much happier because they can inherit more.
4. Your Heirs Or Beneficiaries Can Have More Privacy
The probate process is a public one because it takes place in court and the proceedings can become court record. Your heirs or beneficiaries may not want everyone knowing what they inherited, how much they inherited compared to other family members, and how much money or assets they now have as a result of receiving an inheritance.
If your heirs or beneficiaries value their privacy, you’ll want to try to transfer assets through other means besides the probate process so they won’t have to cope with this public airing of their personal business.
5. Your Heirs Or Beneficiaries Won’t Have to Worry As Much About a Will Contest
When a will is probated, there is an opportunity for the will to be contested. If a will contest is successful, those who were supposed to inherit may not get the inheritance they were planning. If you use other techniques such as trusts to transfer assets, there is a significantly reduced chance that the trust would successfully be contested and that an inheritance wouldn’t end up with your chosen heirs or beneficiaries.
Estate Planning Attorneys Can Help With Avoiding Probate
If you have decided avoiding probate is the best course of action for you so you can provide an inheritance for your heirs or beneficiaries, Zimmer Law Firm can help. We can work with you to make effective use of legal tools to ensure that your assets can pass outside of the probate process so your loved ones can inherit.
To find out more about the assistance our legal team can offer, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 513-721-1513 or contact us online at any time.