The answer is no! One of the largest myths surrounding probate is that designating the distribution of your assets and possessions through a will, avoids the probate process. Even if you have a will, your estate will still end up in probate.
What You Need to Know About the Probate Court Process
If you do not have a will at the time of your death, your estate ends up in probate court. Essentially, you have assets but did not designate how much and to whom your assets should be delegated. You die intestate, that is, without a will. When this happens, the probate court will assign an attorney or law firm to review your assets and locate your inheritors. As you can imagine, this process is lengthy, expensive and your assets may not be delegated as you would have wanted!
What many do not realize, is that even if you have a will in place when you pass away, your estate still ends up in probate court. Every will goes through probate. There is no way around it! Although the document will state what your assets are and who inherits them, the process can still take many months to complete. The probate attorneys will charge your estate for the work performed, with the standard fee between 5 and 10 percent of your estate’s total value. The probate process is also very difficult on loved ones since it will occur as they mourn your loss.
How to Avoid Probate
There are several methods to avoid probate court. This probate avoidance process begins by meeting with AlerStallings, specializing in estate planning. Beneficiaries can be designated while you are still alive, and the assets of your estate can be placed into a special trust. A trust does not limit your access to your funds while you are still alive, as long as the trust is set up properly. Upon your death, all of your assets will be in the hands of your beneficiaries in accordance to the directives of the trust.
Avoiding probate court is your best course of action. A will is simply not enough! Begin the asset protection and probate avoidance process by meeting with an experienced estate planning attorney. The estate planning attorneys at AlerStallings can help you today!