What exactly is probate?

Probate pertains to a legal system through which the assets of a deceased individual is distributed to various people or entities. It includes the inventorying of possessions and real estate valuation, paying off financial debts and tax liabilities along with distributing the remainder asing stated by the last will and testament. This whole process requires certain court appearances along with paperwork which uses up a lot of money usually paid from the estate property that would most likely have instead gone to the named beneficiaries and devisees of the deceased.

The Expenditures and Time involved with Probate:


According to the definition, various costs are incurred in probate. That being said, probate expenditures vary from place to place based upon whether they are set by the state statute or by the customs together with area practices. But most of the times, such fees range between 3-7% of the total market value of the estate. The costs that come with probate consists of:

  • Legal fees – sometimes this kind of charge is determined by the judge while in others it comprises of a percentage of the assets that goes through the probate system.
  • Valuation costs.
  • Fees paid to Administrators – even so in certain circumstances your representative or administrator may likely waive this fee particularly when they have already received a significant amount of your property.
  • Court costs.
  • Surety bond that is a type of insurance in the probate procedure.
  • Accounting and legal fees.

Probate Time

The time required for probate will most likely differ in different jurisdictions depending upon the practices designated by your state. The procedures differ from simple estates to the full, regular probate procedures. The basic method typically takes a shorter period of time in contrasted to the regular probate process. Therefore typically, when all of the factors are held constant, a probate could be estimated to take a amount of time of between 3-6 months to a number of years.

Likewise the time needed to probate an estate depends upon the level of complexity of an estate; that is, whether everything was left organized by the decedent. In the circumstances where so many questions were left unanswered, a lot of time will certainly be called for in order to sort the questions.
Lastly, the time period taken to probate an estate can also be even longer when it comes to tricky tax issues, conflicts regarding debts, a lot of assets that have to be sold, lawsuits filed against the estate or perhaps the challenges in tracing the devisees of the estate either under the will or state law.

Exactly why a Revocable Living Trust is a good device for avoiding the probate process.

The probate system of course ought to be avoided. This is due to the time aspect as well as the expense involved as discussed above. Hence, a variety of means have been created to eliminate this process including joint property ownership, listing named beneficiaries, revocable living trusts and gifting. That being said, among all of the options and tools created, avoiding probate using living trusts continues to be the most effective technique. As a matter of fact, the primary objective of the development of this instrument was to bring the probate system to an end.

A revocable trust typically is formed where you as the settlor, convey an asset to someone else, known as the trustee, who manages it for your benefit, yet you nevertheless retain the right to remove the trust property. This transfer is usually recorded similar to the will in order to guarantee complete compliance by each parties to the requirements by the respective state. This therefore indicates that the trustee possesses the property but his or her use of the property must be for your own advantage as stated by the conditions of the trust.

An benefit of doing so is that the property is no longer part of your probate estate consequently not liable to go through the probate process. From this specific point therefore, you could direct the trustee to transfer your property to your beneficiaries and relatives at the time of your death. That’s why, avoiding probate with a living trust is an effective means of transferring your property.

To conclude, it really is obvious that avoiding probate with revocable living trusts is definitely a smart idea. This is due to the fact that it is practical in saving the costs that may well be suffered during the probate procedure while simultaneously saving your legatees and heirs from wasting time on the probate process. Therefore for your estate planning, I strongly advise revocable living trusts. And you ought to employ the services of a good estate planning attorney to prepare it.