What Happens During Probate?

Benefits of Bypassing Probate

Bypassing Probate

When a person owns property, has money, children, or any assets, they should also have an estate plan. While there are many ways to pass along items to people after death, one thing that is almost guaranteed is that the court will require a probate proceeding. What is probate, and can it be avoided?

What Happens During Probate?

Probate is a court process that processes a person’s estate after their death. The purpose of probate court is twofold. First, it ensures that a person’s wishes are followed concerning the disposition of their property upon their death. Second, it allows creditors to come forward and collect on what is owed. During probate, the estate representative, often the executor, must perform tasks and report back to the judge when they are complete. Notifying creditors and heirs must be done to ensure that those who may have a stake in the estate know about it. Anyone named in the will is contacted, but they must wait until the judge is satisfied that the debts are paid before collecting their inheritance. Probate takes time, and as such, heirs may have to wait to collect.

What Are Common Ways to Avoid It?

The primary drawback to the probate process is the length of time it takes to conclude. Those named in the will may have to wait months or longer to get their inheritance. This means that those dependent on the deceased for financial support may find themselves in a bind. To help facilitate the quicker payout of money to family, other means should be considered. The quickest way to guarantee family gets financial support is by holding joint bank accounts. This way, the co-owner continues to get access to the money without interruption. Life insurance is also a way to facilitate quicker payouts after death. Beneficiaries of insurance policies get what is owed to them after the death certificate is presented. Trust accounts are also good ways to get money to family quicker. As soon as the grantor dies, the trustees should be able to assume control of that account.

Why Is a Will Necessary?

A will is a legal document through which people express how they want their property disposed of after death. It is also what goes through probate. If a person dies without a will, they are considered to be intestate. This starts an even lengthier process than probate since beneficiaries have to come forward to stake claims.

Probate may be a necessary process depending on the size of a person’s estate. 


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