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How to Prepare for Your Estate and Skip Probate

How to Prepare for Your Estate and Skip Probate?

By Hampton & Pigott
Posted on 5-11-2020

These are uncertain times that we are living in. Even going to the grocery store can feel like you are taking your life into your own hands. Covid-19 is taking more and more lives every day. Although we would always like to think that we won’t be the ones to get it or if we do get it that it won’t take our life but none of us can make that assumption. Therefore, it is prudent that you do some estate planning so that you can save your family the trouble of having to deal with probate. What does estate planning include though? And what is probate?

Probate

First, we need to describe what this word even means and why it should matter to you. Simply put, when you do not have something legally in place stating what you would like done with your estate, it goes through the court system, and they get to decide. There are 4 steps that are involved with the process regarding the deceased person:

  1. Everything they own has to be identified
  2. All debts that they owe need to be identified
  3. Using what the deceased person had in assets is used to pay off what they owe in debt
  4. Divide what is left among the family

It is not wrong to have things done this way, but you need to know that the state has control of things. There is minimal control over what happens once it goes to the court system. Another negative to this is that it takes longer, and it can be expensive. Keep in mind that it is also very public.

Estate Planning

When it comes to your estate, you want to make sure that you’re leaving it safely with the ones to whom you want to leave it with. How do you plan for your estate in case of a death though? There are two ways that the majority of people decide to go about making sure that their estate is legally taken care of the way that they want it to be.

Will

A will provides you with a legal guarantee that your wishes will be carried out. A will doesn’t keep your estate out of probate though it does take away some of the negative effects of probate away. By providing your family with a will it takes away a lot of the conflict and when you take away the conflict you lower the legal costs associated with it. Our firm offers a will package at a reasonable price.

Living Trust

A living trust isn’t something that everyone needs. A Living Trust is typically for those who have a significant asset or who want to be very specific in their wishes as to who gets what and how they would like things to be handled. Even those who prefer privacy with their estate, this would be a good option for them.

Regardless of that status of your estate, you want to make sure that you have a plan in place. Like we stated before, you never want to be in that kind of situation, but you still want to be prepared if you were to ever find yourself there. If this is something that you’re in need of then give us a call today. We would be happy to help you figure out the best option is for your estate.