There seems to be two ways of the world today: quick and easy and long and complicated. When it comes to estate administration, avoiding litigation is preferable for most parties. However, avoiding probate isn’t always an option. Why would a person want to avoid probate anyway?
Probate is a court-supervised process designed to sort out the transfer of a person’s property after they have died. Even with valid wills and estate plans, a family may still find themselves in a situation of probate. Usually, it’s because a party isn’t satisfied with the content or details of the will or estate plan. Think of it like sorting out a child custody arrangement, some parent are able to do it out of court, and some need the help of a family law judge to decide.
Using child custody as a metaphor, you can see why one might want to avoid probate if possible. It can take longer, and cost more to go through the probate process. However, if you have concerns about the will or estate plan, probate may be the only way to get the answers or resolution you believe is right. If family members are uncooperative about the will or estate plan, forcing probate can help one get the answers they seek.
On the flip side, there are many methods to avoid probate. Employing these tactics could save you, the estate or loved ones in costly legal fees. Finding out what route to take when an estate isn’t cut and dry isn’t always obvious.