The probate process is an important part of the estate planning process to understand. As a result, anyone setting up their estate plan should be familiar with estate planning basics such as the basics of the probate process.
The probate process refers to the legal process of transferring the estate planner’s property following their passing. In essence, it is the process of administering the estate planner’s estate plan. The probate process is a court-administered process. During the probate process, the probate property of the estate planner is collected; all of the estate’s debts and taxes owed are paid; all rights to income or dividends of the estate are collected; claims against the estate are resolved; disputes against the estate are resolved; and any remaining property is distributed or transferred to the beneficiaries of the estate.
There are some reasons that estate planners and families may wish to avoid the probate process. Some of those reasons can include that the probate process can be costly and time consuming. It can take longer to administer and distribute the estate and there are fees that can be associated with the probate process. Different estate planning tools, such as the use of trusts, may be able to help estate planners avoid the probate process.
Overall, it is helpful for estate planners to be familiar with the different estate planning tools and resources that can meet their specific needs for their estate plan. Part of setting up the best estate plan to meet the goals of the estate planner is also understanding the probate process and its potential impact on their estate plan.