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Why do people try to avoid probate?

On Behalf of | Feb 17, 2024 | Estate Administration And Probate |

Most people use a will as the principal vehicle for their estate planning. There is nothing wrong with this; you can accomplish a lot with a simple will. However, one disadvantage is that most wills must pass through probate.

While the probate process offers the advantage of a court keeping a watchful eye over the handling and distribution of an estate, many people feel the disadvantages outweigh this potential benefit and opt to avoid probate altogether. The following are the primary reasons why many people construct their estates in ways that ultimately avoid probate.

Probate slows things down

Probate takes time, so the distribution of assets subject to this process takes time too. Sometimes, when a deceased loved one leave people assets, it does not matter if it takes months or even years for them to receive them as these assets are surplus to their everyday needs. In other cases, however, the beneficiaries may desperately need the assets to cover the costs of daily life.

It costs money

Any legal process has a cost, and the longer it takes, the more likely the costs will rise. Probate can sometimes take a long time, particularly if a will contest occurs. The executor must typically use money from the estate to pay probate fees and pay for legal representation to defend the will against any challenge. That means less will remain for the beneficiaries.

It allows others to gain an insight into your affairs

Let’s say you are leaving a lot of money to your kids, who are still relatively young and not that worldly-wise yet. If people discover they have inherited large sums, they may try to defraud them out of it. Probate will allow your affairs to become a matter of public record, potentially leading to privacy issues such as this one.

Learning more about probate can help you decide whether or not you’ll opt to try and avoid it when making your estate plan. When it comes to estate planning, knowledge is power.


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