How the probate process can affect an estate plan

When people in Charlotte think about estate planning, they may consider where they want their belongings to go after they die. However, in many cases, they may not fully consider how their choices affect their loved ones, particularly when it comes to dealing with probate and estate administration.

While dying without a will may lead to confusion among the family and the imposition of state intestacy laws in probate court, even a well-written will goes through the probate process. When people think about probate, they may be especially concerned about the costs involved, such as attorney, accounting and representative fees. However, non-probate transfers involve professional assistance and related fees as well. While the potential of excessive costs and fees can be a strong spur to make an estate plan, it may not make the difference between will transfers or living trusts.

Many people seek to avoid probate because of the delays involved. The choice of whether to opt for a probated will or the transfer of most assets outside the probate process could be affected by a person's unique situation. An estate could take 6 to 12 months or more to go through probate, which might prevent people from receiving much-needed funds from the estate in a timely manner. However, people who are concerned about creditor claims on the estate may want to have at least a portion go through probate. The probate process will allow creditor claims to be handled without the risk of attempting to recall funds from a beneficiary.

There are a number of unique situations that can affect people's choices when planning for the future. An estate planning attorney may provide clients with detailed recommendations for their own plans as well as developing documents to make them a reality, including wills, trusts and powers of attorney.

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