Probate is the legal process by which an individual’s estate is administered through the Court when he or she died without a living trust, and either has real property and/or assets valued at over $150,000.00. Probate can be a long and costly process. Even simple probates often take a year or more to complete.
Probate can be avoided through proper estate planning. A good estate plan costs a fraction of probate. Probate includes fees that are approximately $23,000 for a $1m estate. This is on top of the lost time waiting for the funds.
A will alone is not enough to avoid the probate process. As noted above, a living trust is required if you own real property and/or personal property greater than $150,000.00. It is important that you work with an attorney not only to assist you in creating a living trust, but also to ensure that you appropriately fund the trust. If you leave significant assets outside of your Trust when you die, a court process will still be needed to confirm the assets to your Trust.
The attorneys at Bryant Elder Law work closely with our clients to create a living trust that will serve their needs. When you begin to think about creating a living trust, some important questions to consider are:
These questions a good starting place, however, it is important to discuss your personal goals and needs with an attorney to ensure your wishes are implemented correctly through a well-written trust. Call us today for a free consultation.