Those who pass on and leave behind an estate typically want to make sure that those assets go where they want them to go, without paying a variety of costs and expenses along the way. The probate process, in particular, can see assets getting used up quickly. Many people want to know how to keep those costs to a minimum. Fortunately, it is possible to do so if you take the right steps along the way.
The probate process can be complex, and not navigating it properly can cause the costs to quickly add up. Working with a probate lawyer can be invaluable for keeping costs low. Having a detailed knowledge of the probate and estate processes means that a quality lawyer has a solid understanding of how to avoid the traps that can increase the costs of probate.
One of the biggest ways to run probate costs up quickly is to have to deal with probate litigation. This can occur when there is disagreement about the will or the distribution of assets. These disputes can be costly in terms of time and money. Working with a lawyer is one way to help avoid some of the common conflicts that could lead to this kind of litigation.
The most impactful way to avoid unnecessary probate costs is to plan properly ahead of time. An estate that is well put together, from a legal standpoint, before the deceased passes can be invaluable when avoiding excess costs. For instance, the stronger the estate plan, the less likely the possibility of costly litigation. If the avenues for dispute are cut off, then there is no value in attempting to litigate for a different plan of distribution.
Another effective means of planning ahead is to put together a plan that avoids probate as much as possible. For instance, creating a living trust is an effective means of avoiding probate and its related costs. The assets that are in the trust are shielded from the probate process. However, they can still be managed, sold, etc. while you’re still living, and they will be distributed according to the rules of the trust once you have passed on.
A: There are some significant disadvantages to probate court. In many cases, these downsides can lead people to try to figure out how their family can avoid the process. One disadvantage is the costs associated with the process, including your assets being open to a variety of potential taxation and debts. Another potential downside is that it is more open to litigation than some other methods. This can make an already emotionally difficult time for families even more so. Lastly, the probate process is a matter of public record, which means that assets and their distribution can be accessed by anyone who is interested.
A: It’s no secret that the process of transferring an estate’s assets can sometimes get messy. Often, this can be a result of a few different things. However, putting together a thorough plan early on, and avoiding any late changes to that plan, can help mitigate the risks of probate litigation, which can add to the costs of the probate process. Many times, litigation comes from later changes to wills. Some of the sources of litigation are accusations that:
A: A probate lawyer can help families through the estate transfer process. In some cases, this could involve helping with estate planning before death. In other cases, this means working with the family as the estate moves through the probate process. The benefit of working with a lawyer is the familiarity they have with the process and the way that they can help the family navigate some of the trickier aspects. Some of what a probate lawyer can help with include:
A: The probate process is designed to see that the assets of an estate are first used to pay off outstanding debts and liabilities, as well as any relevant taxes, before finally distributing the remaining assets to the heirs. The probate process is fairly rigid so that those goals are accomplished. The steps are:
Probate costs can quickly get excessive. There are ways, though, to take steps to keep them low and avoid unnecessary costs. Some of this can be done by following the right procedures to prepare ahead of time. In other cases, the costs can be kept down by avoiding any unnecessary bumps in the probate process. Working with an experienced probate lawyer is one of the most effective ways to ensure that you keep probate costs lower, no matter where you and your family are in the process. Make sure that you put the experience of Sweeney Probate Law to work for your family by contacting us today.