Probate is a court-supervised process that authenticates a decedent’s will and oversees the final dispositions of their assets, debts and other estate matters. All Georgia wills must go through probate, even if trusts are in place. However, not all estate assets are subject to probate. In fact, it is often in your best interests to construct your estate plan to transfer many assets and avoid probate.
Turner Law in Decatur, GA, can help you structure an estate plan that allows your beneficiaries to avoid probate when settling your estate. Here are five reasons why you should consider avoiding probate.
Probate is a public process, which means that all of your financial information and the details of your estate are a matter of public record and are available for anyone to see. This can be a significant concern for individuals who value their privacy and do not want their personal financial information or other concerns to be publicly available.
Many estate planning measures can be employed to transfer assets to your beneficiaries directly. These legal strategies avoid probate and are private.
Probate can be a lengthy process that can take several months or even years to complete. In Georgia, the average length of a probate proceeding is 8-12 months. During this time, your assets are tied up in the legal system, and your beneficiaries may be unable to access the funds they need. This can be particularly challenging for individuals who have dependents who rely on their assets for support.
Probate can be expensive, with attorney fees, asset valuations, public notices, court costs and other expenses adding up quickly. These costs can significantly reduce the value of your estate and leave less for your beneficiaries.
Lack of Control
During probate, a court oversees the distribution of your assets, meaning you have little control over how your assets are distributed. This can be particularly concerning for individuals with specific wishes for how their assets should be distributed after death.
Probate can be a contentious process that can lead to family conflicts. Disputes over assets, disagreements over the interpretation of a will and other issues can cause family members to become estranged and damage relationships. Plus, your assets are tied up until the dispute is settled, depriving your beneficiaries of what you desire them to receive.
Georgia Estate Planning
There are many reasons to consider avoiding probate. If you’re concerned about privacy, cost, lack of control or family conflicts, several estate planning strategies can help you avoid probate and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Contact the experienced estate planning attorneys at Turner Law in Decatur to learn more about your options for constructing a solid estate plan and avoiding probate.
Posted on the behalf of Turner Law, LLC