After you pass away, probate becomes a standard procedure for your loved ones, unless you have previously taken steps to avoid it. Probate is the court process by which assets are legally transferred from the deceased individual to their heirs.
Probate is a lengthy process, even for the simplest and most straightforward of cases. On average, probate will last about 18 to 24 months from the time of the death. More complicated probates, such as when numerous family members or other individuals challenge the decision, will require much more time.
Probate can also be a costly process. Probate fees are based upon the gross estate value, which can include the home, retirement accounts, and personal property. Even a modest estate can reach $500,000 in value, for which fees are approximately $26,000. That's just an example to give you an idea of what to expect; many estates are valued at far more than that amount.
Luckily, probate can be avoided via a properly drafted and funded trust. All assets placed within the trust will bypass the probate process and go directly to the heirs you have selected ahead of your death. This saves time and money, along with the additional stress of proceeding through complicated court procedures.
Give us a call to learn more about trusts, and how to establish one to protect yourself and your family. We're here to help you.