When it is time to settle the estate of a loved one, a Texas family is left with the responsibility of overseeing the process of paying off remaining debts, distributing assets and handling other matters. In some cases, they must also navigate probate. This is the court-supervised process of evaluating remaining assets and distributing them according to the terms of the will. Many people want to create estate plans that allow them to avoid probate.
How to skip probate
Probate is a lengthy process that can take months to complete, and it can also cost a significant portion of the estate’s value. Probate requires the location and verification of the will, location of assets, payment of remaining debts and other tedious steps. It can take even longer if there is an issue, the will cannot be located or there are disputes between heirs and beneficiaries.
For these reasons and others, people often want to use estate planning tools that will eliminate the need for the probate process. Assets held in a trust do not have to go through probate, and this can be an effective way to accomplish specific things with one’s estate plan. A trust also gives one the ability to control and protect assets well into the future.
Creating an effective estate plan
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for estate planning. Each Texas adult will have different goals for his or her plan, and this may include taking steps that will avoid probate. An assessment of the specific estate will provide an understanding of what steps are necessary for achieve one’s goals.