Probate is a topic that can be a little bit complex and hard to understand. That’s why it’s a good idea to sit down with your attorney and have a conversation about how to avoid it.
Probate is a process where an estate goes to the court to be distributed. Essentially, anyone who dies without a will has an estate that is subject to intestate succession laws. Those laws require your estate to be represented in court. If a judge determines that there is no will, then they will need to identify beneficiaries and heirs.
At that point, they will then go on to determine the value of the decedent’s property. After that, the court identifies financial responsibilities and debts, using the estate to cover them.
Finally, if there are assets remaining, the judge will be able to distribute them to the beneficiaries and heirs of the decedent.
Throughout this process, one person will be in charge: the executor. If no executor is established by an estate plan, then the executor will be established by the court.
Should you let your estate go to probate instead of creating a solid estate plan?
The simple answer is no. If you don’t have a will, you add months of trouble for your family. Probate can take many months to complete, and during that time, none of your beneficiaries or heirs will receive any of the assets you wanted to leave to them.
It is smarter to have a will and estate plan in place to help your family avoid the probate process. That way, they’ll be able to benefit from your estate much sooner.