The Importance of Having an Estate Planning Attorney to Bypass Probate
Probate can be costly, tying up resources for the estate while probate hearings and attorneys are handled. This can reduce the amount of assets that heirs receive. An estate planning lawyer with experience can assist you in creating a plan that respects your ultimate desires while avoiding probate. This can significantly reduce the stress and expense on your loved ones after you pass away.
The costs associated with estate planning can vary significantly depending on what services you require and how extensive your plan is. It also depends on the attorney or firm you select. Attorneys who specialize in estate planning often have a higher level of expertise and experience, which can lead to higher fees. Whether you want to skip the probate process or have an efficient and effective estate plan, working with an experienced attorney is best. This will help ensure the documents are properly drafted and valid after your death. In addition, it will allow you to save time and money by avoiding any unnecessary legal battles. Another benefit of estate planning is that it helps keep your financial affairs private. This is important for many families who don’t want the details of their debts, assets, and inheritance to be aired in public records. Avoiding probate lets you keep these sensitive matters private and give your heirs a greater legacy.
Another way to avoid probate is by transferring your assets to loved ones before death. Creating payable-on-death bank accounts and identifying beneficiaries on statements like retirement and life insurance plans are two ways to accomplish this. This can also be done by transferring property into trusts.
Every year, millions of dollars are spent on the soaring judicial and legal costs associated with the probate procedure when a loved one dies. Bypassing probate allows your assets and property to be transferred without these fees and at a quicker pace. Avoiding probate also ensures that your final wishes are followed as intended. Many family members argue after a loved one’s death, often over the estate and the distribution of their assets. This can be very stressful and costly for family members who are already grieving. A good estate plan can minimize these disputes by providing clear instructions on dividing your assets. It is common for these disputes to arise over improperly titled assets and inaccurate beneficiary designations. It is important to have an estate planning attorney review your plan periodically. This will enable them to spot any changes in the legislation or your circumstances that might result in unanticipated issues.
By creating a thorough estate plan that will provide you peace of mind, an expert attorney can assist you in avoiding the expense, inconvenience, and time commitment of the probate process. To learn more about what an estate plan can do for you, contact us and schedule a consultation. We are happy to discuss your options and help you make the best decision for you and your family.
An estate plan is the best way to keep your family from going through probate after death. A court-supervised procedure known as probate validates your Will (assuming you have one) and guarantees that your last desires disperse your assets. If you don’t have a Will, the courts will assign a Personal Representative to handle your estate proceedings and make decisions for you. Some of the benefits of avoiding probate include: They are saving on attorney and court fees. These costs are typically three to seven percent of the estate’s value being transferred. This can be a substantial sum of money. A faster transfer of assets. Probate can take months or even years to complete, during which time the investments in the estate are “stuck.” If your heirs need those funds to pay for something urgently, they may be forced to change their plans drastically. Better privacy. Many methods that avoid probate also allow heirs to keep their inheritance more private. Probate filings are part of public records, which means anyone can see the details of your estate and what you left behind for your loved ones. Discuss your alternatives with an estate planning lawyer to avoid probate.
A good estate planning attorney will help you coordinate your assets so that everything passes how you want it to and avoids expensive probate processes. For example, many bank accounts can be made payable to a designated beneficiary upon the account holder’s death (called “payable on death” or POD accounts). You may also nominate beneficiaries for your 401(k), IRA and pension accounts. However, if these accounts are not coordinated with your Will and other documents (and all of the Beneficiary designations match up), they will still need to go through probate. A knowledgeable estate planning lawyer can assist you in minimizing the amount of your estate and maximizing tax benefits.
Several types of taxes can be imposed on an estate, including an estate tax (a percentage of the entire estate’s value above a certain amount) and inheritance taxes, which are taxes paid by someone who inherits property or money from another person. One of the biggest tasks most Executors and Personal Representatives must undertake is finding and informing the deceased’s heirs, creditors, and interested persons. This can be very challenging and time-consuming, especially if there is a disagreement regarding the estate’s contents. In the last accounting phase of probate, some people spend tens of thousands of dollars arguing over worthless personal items.