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What is Probate?

What is Probate?:

Probate is the legal process by which the court supervises the transfer of assets from the decedent to his or her heirs.


Advantages:

  • Court supervises distribution of assets.
  • Creditors must file their claim against estate within six months.
  • Independent administration is available.

Disadvantages:

  • Time delay, minimum period is six months.
  • Higher attorney's fees and court costs.
  • All estate filings, including assets, are available to the public.

Ways you can avoid probate:

  • Joint tenancy or tenancy by the entirety.
  • Bank accounts or stocks which name a beneficiary on death.
  • Life insurance, IRAs and employee benefit accounts that name a beneficiary.
  • Lifetime gifts.
  • Revocable living trusts or declarations of trust.
  • Beneficiary Deed—passes real estate to named beneficiary.