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What is Probate?

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Probate is the legal process of your estate being settled after an individual passes away. Regardless of whether or not there is a will in place, assets could still be subject to entering the probate process. If you need assistance in negotiating the probate process, or avoiding the probate process completely, contact an estate planning attorney, they are skilled in the intricacies of the Probate process.

Probate Requirements

A requirement of Probate is if a decedent died without a Last Will and Testament. One would believe that by creating a Will, and making certain that your assets pass through the Will upon death probate would be avoided. Contrary to belief, when assets pass through a Will, Probate becomes a requirement. A general rule of is that, whenever assets pass through a decedent’s Will, no matter who created the will, probate becomes a requirement.

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Probate Disadvantages

The Probate process has a set of disadvantages which include the following:

  • Time-consuming and expensive.
  • Estate executor must file paperwork with the court on a regularly
  • Can last two years or longer
  • Probate taxes –calculated based on the value of all probate assets
  • Court costs and filing fees
  • Legal fees – It can be easier to navigate the process with a probate attorney

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How Can Probate Be Avoided?

Probate applies to assets passing through a deceased person’s sole name through his or her estate. Probate can be avoided when every asset is controlled in one of the following ways:

  • A revocable trust
  • Making lifetime gifts to reduce estate size
  • Titling account ownership properly
  • Designating asset beneficiaries