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If you are planning your estate, you probably have heard about something called probate. Most of the time, probate is described as a long, unnecessary process that delays your loved one receiving the estate you want to leave them. Is that really true? This simple guide will explain what probate is and tackle the complicated question of whether or not you should try to avoid it.

What Is Probate?

The process of probate only applies to wills. Specifically, it is the first thing that happens when a will is executed. If the deceased did not appoint an executor, then the court will appoint one. Then, the administrative and accounting tasks of carrying out the will are taken care of. For especially large or complicated wills, this process may take a long time. Most of the time, however, probate only lasts a few weeks or a month.

Is Avoiding Probate Helpful?

So, the big question is whether or not you should try to avoid probate. It is certainly understandable for the idea of your estate sitting around while the accounting is figured out to be undesirable. Remember, however, that it is rare for probate to last for years as some claim it can. This usually only happens if the will was not set up properly. The better strategy might be to invest in an estate planning lawyer who you trust to be certain your will is set up correctly. This will nearly guarantee that your will’s probate will be quick and without issues.

The most common way people avoid probate is by using a trust to distribute their estate instead of a will. A trust is not subject to probate, and it is also not subject to most estate taxes. In some cases, this really may be the most beneficial option for you. You should speak with an estate planning lawyer in Sacramento, CA to get more information relevant to your specific case.

Finally, it is important to understand that probate might be beneficial. Remember, this is the court overseeing its execution, which can be a way to safe-guard it. It may actually be reassuring to know that the authorities will watch over your estate and ensure it is distributed following your wishes as closely as possible. As with most things in life, choosing whether you want to use a will or a trust for your estate depends on your unique circumstances. Estate planning experts will be able to give you tailored advice, oftentimes without charge.

Thanks to the Yee Law Group for their insight into estate planning and avoiding probate.

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