I love the Fourth of July celebrations, both the activities and the reason behind the celebration. Probate certainly isn’t King George, but having been to court with many clients I know the terror that going to court brings, not to mention the expense and huge time commitment. Are you guaranteeing your heirs a trip to the courthouse, or are you setting them free with wise planning?
What is Probate?
Probate is the court case that transfers property from your name after you die to your legal heirs. There are several set fees for a probate case, but the biggest fees are the statutory fees for the attorney and the executor. Those fees together can cost an average family $20,000 or more.
Expense isn’t the only reason probate should be avoided, it’s also time consuming. A simple estate can easily take six or more months to complete. Complex estates, or estates with disputes will take much longer to complete, delaying the time it takes for heirs to see any of their inheritance.
Why A Living Trust Is Your Ticket to Probate “Freedom”
Most people choose a living trust when completing their estate plans because the living trust allows them to avoid probate. With additional planning, a living trust can also solve many other problems, such as reducing exposure to estate taxes, providing for special needs children, and more.
A will does not avoid probate, in fact a will must go through probate to be effective.
A trust can give you the freedom to protect your loved ones’ inheritance from divorces, lawsuits and creditors. You have the freedom with a trust to ensure that children will put their inheritance to good use, such as completing higher education, starting a career or business, buying a home, rather than wasting it. Those are great reasons to celebrate your own family’s independence day.
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