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If I Have a Will, Can Probate Be Avoided?

Probate folder with a last will and testament in the foreground, a judge's gavel on top of both
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For those who recently lost a loved one, navigating probate and estate laws can be daunting. While having an existing will is beneficial, it alone may not be enough to protect your family from a lengthy and expensive probate process.

Defining Probate

Planning for the future of your estate is essential for those you leave behind. Probate is a legal process that confirms a will's validity and ensures your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Unfortunately, probate can be long and complicated, resulting in costly fees and delays that can burden your loved ones after you're gone.

Why a Will Alone Isn't Enough to Avoid Probate

Wills can be essential in estate planning as they provide instructions for how you would like your assets to be distributed after you pass. However, relying solely on a will might not be enough for loved ones to avoid probate, which can complicate things and add time and stress during a difficult time. Other steps must be taken to streamline the process for your family and ensure that probate is avoided.

Avoiding Probate

While having a will is critical in ensuring your family will be cared for after you pass, more is needed to ensure they won't have to go through the frequently lengthy and expensive probate process. Fortunately, other steps can be taken to help avoid probate for your loved ones.

Creating a revocable living trust can help transfer legal ownership of any property or assets held under its name directly to the trust's beneficiaries, allowing them to bypass probate court entirely. This can provide peace of mind that your family will receive the items you want them to quickly and without complication.

Why an Estate Planning Attorney is Essential if You Want to Avoid Probate

When it comes to your legacy and the estate you leave behind to your loved ones, having an experienced estate planning attorney on your side is the best way to ensure your wishes are respected. Not only can an experienced attorney help draft a will that reflects your needs, but they will also be able to provide you with additional guidance and resources specific to your estate that can make sure probate is avoided.

With your wishes in mind, Jerimy Kirschner & Associates, PLLC will recommend strategies such as establishing trusts to help secure assets more efficiently and optimize tax benefits. Taking the time to ensure everything is for your loved ones in advance gives you peace of mind that things will be taken care of when the time comes. For this reason, having Jerimy Kirschner & Associates, PLLC by your side is essential throughout this process. Contact our experienced team online or by phone to get started. (206) 203-8802

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