Probate is a court procedure. I have written many articles on this describing the probate process in Washington state and across America. Our law firm helps families conduct probate. In most cases, probate will cost several thousand dollars in fees and costs. Unfortunately, in some cases, probate can cost an estate tens of thousands of dollars.
Most people erroneously believe that if they have a Last Will and Testament in Washington State, they do not have to go through probate. On the contrary, if your estate plan is a Last Will and Testament, this means that you want to go through probate.
Actually, you will not have to go through probate because you have passed. Rather, your Personal Representative or Executor is responsible for administering a probate. In many cases, the Personal Representative will be your spouse. If he or she has passed, then one of your children.
While grieving the loss of a family member, you don’t want to have to go to court.
Make no mistake about it, probate involves going to court. The purpose of probate is to transfer the title of assets to include real estate from the name of the decedent to a living heir. While court can be fun, fun, fun, a better plan would be to avoid it completely.
Consider a Revocable Living Trust instead…. If the purpose of probate is simply to transfer title from the name of a person who has deceased to the name of a person who is alive, consider creating an estate plan in which the title of the property is owned by a flexible and inexpensive trust. This kind of trust is called a “Revocable Living Trust.”
To name just a few advantages of a Revocable Living Trust… If you create a trust and transfer title of property into the trust, when you pass your heirs could receive their inheritance, such as the home, without the need for delay, stress, a bunch of paperwork or, most importantly additional attorney’s fees. While attorneys do charge to set up your trust, the fees are generally lower than a probate. This, of course, assumes that your estate is not taxable or holds complicated holdings.
Trusts are great because they are very flexible and can accomplish a lot. They can help families avoid unnecessary taxes. They serve as a consolidated estate plan – one document controlling how all of your assets pass. Trusts also begin the process of a long term care plan.
Major advantages of a Living Trust … If you set up a trust, you, your spouse and your children will never have to go to court for a probate. That assumes that it is set up correctly. If it is set up correctly, your estate can save fees and costs related to probate. It really is the final gift to your family because your estate settlement is much less stressful and time consuming.
Your next step:
- Contact us to Setup a 15 minute free phone consultation OR
- Attend Darol’s next FREE Workshop OR
- Continue learning on your own. I have created a series of free online workshops called “Living Care Workshop.” The final video in the series focuses on asset protection and the use of a Living Trust, pros and cons.