Probate Lawyer

You probably often hear that probate can be complicated and it can also be something that you may or may not have to go through. Despite what you’ve heard, probate doesn’t have to be a scary process. First off, probate can be a very common legal procedure and it is the legal process that some assets need to formally go through from the person who is deceased to their heirs or beneficiaries. Probate can be determined by the type of property, ownership, and state laws are.

For large estates, the probate process may be complex, but for others, it could be a lot more simple. If a person dies and they leave a will then probate is required to implement those provisions of that will. Probate also happens if a person dies without a will. If that happens the property needs to be distributed under state laws. It can be possible to avoid probate with detailed planning. Avoiding probate is usually the route that most want to take to reduce legal fees, and avoid estate tax. Not going through probate can also protect privacy since there won’t be any record made available to the public. 

A popular way to avoid probate is by the use of a revocable living trust. A revocable living trust means that the assets that are placed in a trust and can be used by the creator of the trust during their lifetime and at the time of death, the assets in the trust are passed to the trust beneficiaries by the operation of the trust document and making probate unnecessary. 

Life insurance policies also pass property without needing to go through probate. If you name someone in your life insurance policy they will receive the assigned death benefit directly with no probate process. Retirement accounts can also pass outside of probate. Whoever is named the beneficiary that person will receive the balance of the account after the owner’s death. 

Additionally, real estate that is owned by joint tenants passes outside of probate. When there are two owners and the first owner passes away that means the second one automatically owns the property. While certain circumstances and situations will mean that you won’t have to go through probate, however, that will be something best determined when consulting with a professional like a probate attorney.


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