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Parsing Probate

“Probate” is a term used to describe a method of distributing your assets after death. If you pass away with assets that have no method for distribution, a court is needed to step in and do so. That is when people open what is called a probate. A “will” is a document that explains to the court and your heirs how you want your assets distributed. A will is not a specific method to avoid probate. In most situations, if you have a will as your sole estate plan, your estate will be going through probateMany people hear the word “probate” and picture a giant beast that's to be avoided at all costs. Although that can be the case, in some instances probate is the cheapest and most appropriate way to distribute your assets. The important thing to remember in probate avoidance is that you need to be prepared. If you have a lot of changes or uncertainties in what your estate may possess at your death, then you need to be careful. If don’t follow your probate avoidance plan properly, you may be spending the money twice—once on preparing the plan to avoid probate, and once on the probate you tried to avoid.If you want to discuss the pros and cons of probate, or have other estate planning questions, please stop in or call us at (320) 763-3141.

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