Probate is a process in which the court distributes a person’s assets after death. The process might provide some protection for the decedent’s assets, and it might discourage disputes among potential heirs. Despite these benefits, there are several reasons you may want to shorten probate, if not avoid it altogether.
The probate process generally involves taking stock of the assets and obligations a deceased person left behind. This often involves locating and submitting paperwork and meeting with various institutions and officers, making it very stressful and exhausting. It usually becomes more challenging when the executor is unfamiliar with the process.
The more complex and the greater the number of assets the deceased person has, the more time it usually takes to complete the probate process. In some cases, it might even take years. Therefore, going through probate might not be ideal if you want your heirs to receive your assets within a short period after your death.
Probate usually involves various costs, such as attorney and executor’s fees, which might increase the longer the process takes to finish. The deceased person’s estate typically shoulders these costs, so beneficiaries will likely inherit less if probate takes too much time.
Because probate is court-supervised, information related to it usually ends up in public records. Such information is often available to anyone who asks, including parties with malicious intentions.
Several estate planning tools can help you expedite or avoid probate. If you need help understanding your options, it would help to seek legal assistance.