What is Probate?
Probate refers to the legal process that is required upon the death of a loved one, and it is intended to take care of the deceased’s estate. The court will either follow the deceased’s wishes as outlined in his or her will and/or will make its own determinations regarding any elements of the deceased’s property that aren’t covered in a will or a trust. Keeping as much of your wealth out of probate as possible is often preferable, but probate can help your family take care of a lot of important business upon your death that isn’t covered in your trust. Probate has a bit of a scary ring to it, but it can actually help ensure that your wishes will be carried out after your death. To learn more, give an experienced North Carolina estate planning attorney a call today.
More about Probate
If you have assets of any kind that aren’t legally covered in a trust, they will go through probate, and that’s fine. If you have considerable assets, however, and they all go through probate, you probably aren’t doing your legacy any favors for the following important reasons:
- Probate can be a lengthy process that leaves your loved ones without your financial support and your tangible expression of regard until it’s finalized.
- Probate can be frustrating for all involved – and can lead to infighting – especially if you don’t have a will in place to guide the process.
- Probate leads to various expenses that can be avoided entirely when you bypass the probate process with a trust.
Even if your estate is modest, there is no need to make matters more complicated and to decrease the value of your estate by increasing the costs associated with its administration. If you can bypass the issue for certain properties via a trust, it’s in your best interest to do so.
Your Will’s Legwork
If you have a will that goes into probate, it means that you have assigned an executor of your will, who will do all the legwork to ensure that the correct beneficiaries receive the correct benefits. Once the court validates your will’s authenticity and legality, it will hand the matter over to your executor who will make sure every t is crossed and every i is dotted.
If you have no will and you have assets to distribute, however, things become more complicated, and the judge assigned to your probate will need to appoint a personal representative who will serve in the role of your estate’s executor. Further, the court will proceed with assigning value to your estate, identifying your creditors and beneficiaries (in accordance with the state’s rules rather than in accordance with your wishes), and determining the fair distribution of your property.
Discuss Probate with an Experienced North Carolina Estate Planning Attorney Today
Probate is an important legal mechanism that can help protect your loved one’s rights after you pass, but there are better and worse ways to approach the matter. The skilled estate planning attorneys at King Law Firm in North Carolina are committed to helping you create an estate plan that minimizes your potential dependence on probate and maximizes your estate. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us today.