Avoid Costly Delays in Probate By Planning Now

Probate is used to distribute a decedent's assets and property to their beneficiaries. This process is often dreaded by those facing it. Not only is it emotionally challenging to navigate the court system after the loss of a loved one, but it can also be time-consuming, expensive, and frustrating. How can you prepare to avoid the pitfalls of probate and turn it into a positive legal process? We share some helpful tips that can get you on the right track to a successful probate outcome.

How to Handle Probate Efficiently

When the decedent's will is filed with their local court, probate will officially begin. In whole, the process can take up to a year or longer in some cases. The executor of the will has a majority of the responsibility placed on their shoulders during this time, as they must collect and assess property, alert beneficiaries, and regulate the distribution process according to the will.

Their property will need to be identified and appraised in order to be distributed appropriately. This means one of the simplest ways you can improve the efficiency of this process is by being organized. Working with a legal professional can help you move quickly through this part, getting assets valued and debts paid off as efficiently as possible. When working through this phase, you will also want to make sure that any property tax or unpaid taxes are taken care of so as not to incur penalties or have additional expenses taken out of distributed property after the fact.

Alert beneficiaries as soon as possible and keep them in the loop with all proceedings to avoid confusion, disputes, and arguments. If a will is disputed, it could delay the probate process for months or even years and cost everyone to incur more legal expenses along the way. Once all the property has been appraised and is ready to be distributed, make sure you work with your lawyer to dish out the assets to heirs accordingly. By staying on top of matters, you can make the process as smooth as possible and ensure that you help everyone involved avoid those costly, dreaded delays.

Want to help your loved ones avoid probate?

Whether you have been through the probate process in the past or not, it is easy to determine that this is not desirable for your loved ones. By taking some simple steps ahead of time, you can help them avoid these delays and additional costs.

Do the following to eliminate the need for probate:

  • Work with a lawyer to set up a personalized estate plan
  • Create a living trust and put property for heirs in here
  • Name beneficiaries for your retirement accounts
  • Create payable-on-death accounts when necessary
  • Keep your attorney informed of all property you own and plan ahead for it
  • Update your plan as time passes and assets/life changes

Ready to plan ahead to keep your loved ones out of the probate process? Need counsel for navigating the legal system? Whatever situation you find yourself in, be sure to search our directory to find a reliable probate attorney.

Categories: Estate Planning, Probate