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What should I know about probate?

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2021 | Probate

End-of-life planning can be unpleasant. It requires a person to consider what will happen to their assets and property when they are no longer alive. Throughout South Carolina, residents must consider what they own, who they want to receive it, and what their goals are for their end-of-life estates.

One legal process that is associated with end-of-life planning is probate. To understand probate fully and its implications for a person’s own estate plan, it is important that they speak with a dedicated estate planning and probate attorney. This information post will discuss probate generally, and no part of this post should be interpreted as legal advice.

The purpose of probate

Probate involves many different processes. It involves the identification, collection, and distribution of a person’s assets according to their testamentary wishes. It can involve the repayment of debts from a person’s end-of-life estate. It is managed by the courts and governed by laws.

Probate can be uneventful or contentious. For some, it is a relatively simple process that plays out over the course of months until the individual’s estate is distributed in full. For others, challenges and questions can complicate the process. Attorneys can support individuals facing probate questions and concerns.

Should you avoid probate?

Some readers may have heard that is beneficial to avoid probate whenever possible. That is because the process can be time consuming and if there are challenges, can also be costly. Whether an individual and their estate should be subject to probate is personal and cannot be determined in this post. Those with probate concerns can contact their financial advisors and trusted estate planning attorneys.

Different financial and testamentary devices can help individuals avoid or reduce their probate implications. Pay on death accounts, trusts, and direct beneficiary devices may all avoid the probate process. These considerations are part of the greater estate planning process that individuals can engage with when they meet with their lawyers.