Estate Planning Probate – Keeping Estate Assets Out of Court

Estate planning probate is the legal process used to designate beneficiaries whom you wish to receive your assets in the event of your death. Many people postpone estate planning; especially when they are young and in good health. Unfortunately, death oftentimes arrives unannounced and can strike when you least expect it. Inadequate planning creates an enormous burden for your family and loved ones should you die unexpectedly. 

Estate planning probate generally requires the services of a qualified probate lawyer. This type of attorney specializes in estate planning and can assist in keeping estate assets out of probate. It is important to understand that everything you own is transferred to probate unless you have taken steps to avoid the process. Probate is the legal process used to validate your Will and ensure assets are transferred to rightful heirs. If you want to get more knowledge about estate planning then you can also look for Estate Planning Law Firm in Alexandria, Virginia.

Probate laws are governed by each individual state. Financial assets and personal belongings can be gifted to anyone you choose. However, in most states, financial and real estate holdings are automatically transferred to your spouse. Assets held by unmarried decedents typically transfer to direct lineage relatives such as children, parents or siblings.

When decedents do not engage in estate planning probate prior to their death, it is referred to as dying 'intestate', which means "without a Will". A probate judge must designate an estate administrator to locate missing heirs and determine the rightful owners of your property. Click here to get more info about estate planning.

The probate process can be quite lengthy and can be prolonged for months or even years. Estate planning experts state the average probate case lasts for three years. During this time the estate is responsible for all expenses related to probate. These expenses can include paying mortgage payments, maintaining real estate, property taxes, and attorney fees. 

Assets held in probate depreciate with time. Add in all the costs associated with probate and estate assets can quickly be depleted; leaving little to nothing for the heirs. This can easily be avoided my executing a Last Will and Testament and establishing probate planning. 

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