What is Probate?

What is probate?

Probate is the process by which the court validates a will and supervises the settlement of an estate, including the transfer of assets to beneficiaries. 

How do I avoid probate?

Only assets in your individual name will go through probate. Many folks use a (fully funded) revocable living trust to avoid probate. In addition, contract assets such life insurance, retirement accounts, and annuities as well as assets owned by joint tenants with right of survivorship avoid probate as well.

Why should I avoid probate?

Most people want to avoid probate because it can include high fees and costs, significant time delays and stress, and everything that goes through probate is public information. Anyone can go on the Internet and see a listing of your assets, debts, beneficiaries, and who got what. If you’re like most people, you want to keep your family affairs and finances private.

What is living probate?

“Living probate” refers to the court process necessary if you don’t have a disability plan in place. It’s also referred to as “guardianship” or “conservatorship,” depending on state law. It can be a painful, arduous, and painful process for your loved ones that is easily avoided with powers of attorney and living trust planning. I have found that most folks also want to keep their family and financial affairs private with a disability plan instead of dredging through a public court proceeding.

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