You can avoid probate court if your estate plan is well designed and current. When you pass on, when your spouse passes on or your loved one, parent, et cetera, pass on that is when we look at the questions of:
- ‘Where is the estate plan?
- Is it a valid legal enforceable estate plan?
- Are we going into probate court?
- Where are the deeds?
- Where are the bank statements?
- Where are the investment accounts?
- Where are the titles to the vehicles?
- Are they in multiple banks?
- Are we looking at multiple pieces of real estate?
- Are there retirement plans?
- Is there life insurance?’
The more we prepare ahead of time, the better. We work with our clients to try and put their records of assets with their estate planning portfolio so that everything is in one place. If we don’t do that, the adult children are not going to know what mom and dad own or the instructions of the estate plan. We look at ‘Who is in what role?’ Again, we can have different people in the healthcare role versus the
trustee handling the assets role.
One of the questions is always, ‘Can we avoid the court system?’ The court system, or probate court, is slow, expensive, costly, and public, so we are always looking to avoid it at all times. There are different ways that people leave their estate. Some people say, “After I’m gone and my spouse is gone, then divide the assets and give them to our children, adult children or whoever the loved ones or friends are, and just move the money out.” Others say, “Protect the assets and move them out over time to my loved ones so that they cannot squander the inheritance.”
NOTE: This is an excerpt from the book, The Legacy You Leave, by Steven Andrew Jackson, Esq. You can buy the book on Amazon or Kindle. Click here for details.
At the Law Firm of Steven Andrew Jackson, Attorney and Counsellor at Law, we have helped hundreds of families protect themselves and their loved ones, avoid Estate Taxes and Probate Costs, and keep their Estate Plans current with the law through The Customized Protective Estate Planning Solution™.