Why You Should Avoid Probate if You Prefer Privacy
Even those without an understanding of estate planning may have heard about probate, and how it can be a lengthy and stressful process. Probate is a court-supervised proceeding that distributes a person’s estate after their passing. If someone dies and has property left behind, but there’s no will, then the court takes over through probate. Because a property owner is no longer present to execute deeds, the court is the only entity that is permitted to oversee the transfer of a deceased person’s property.
For those who prefer privacy, establishing a valid estate plan can help prevent their personal life from going through probate. Most people don’t want the government having any control over their legacy, so writing an estate plan as soon as possible is advised. Many states have enacted less costly and more streamlined procedures, but in general, there are going to be delays and expenses associated with probate.
Probate can be terribly disruptive to family members as they grieve their loss. Beneficiaries may be uncertain whether their inheritances will be distributed to them fairly and in a way, their loved ones would have wished. To make matters more complicated, if the decedent has assets in different states, then there will be separate probate procedures occurring at the same time in varying locations. As you can imagine, it can be truly troublesome for close friends and family to sit by and watch probate happen to their loved one’s property, money, and legacy.
The probate attorneys from Klenk Law would probably also agree that it’s not uncommon for people to write an estate plan simply because they want to avoid probate. Rarely does anyone want the court system to have control over a legacy built over a lifetime? If someone passes away without an estate plan, they risk losing their preferred privacy.