How Trusts Can Help You Avoid Probate
Probate is a period during which an individual’s estate is settled and distributed after their death. Probate can be a rather long process, which can take several months or even over a year in some cases. During probate, possible beneficiaries also have the opportunity to challenge the validity of the will. The more challenges a will faces, the higher the legal fees will be. All of these fees are deducted from the estate before it is distributed. This means that probate can not only deprive your loved ones of access to critical assets, it can also seriously deplete the assets that you intended to distribute to them. For this reason, a good estate plan utilizes legal mechanisms, such as trusts, which allow you to limit the assets that have to pass through probate court.
Does a Will Help You Avoid Probate?
While having a will is always good advice, it will not help you avoid probate. This is because the will must go through the probate court in order to be determined valid before the court attempts to distribute any remaining assets in accordance with its terms. This is why solely having a will is not a comprehensive estate plan in most cases. A will can be an important part of an estate plan, but it is still important to use other legal mechanisms to limit the amount of assets that have to move through probate, and to ensure that your loved ones will still have access to critical assets, such as bank accounts and your home.
How to Avoid Probate in Florida
Trusts are one of the best ways to avoid probate. Trusts operate by transferring your personal property or assets into a trust. When you do this, the trust becomes the legal owner of the assets. This means that because the assets are no longer your personal property they do not belong to your estate, and they will not have to be touched by probate court. There are many different kinds of trusts, and the best one for you and your beneficiaries will depend on your specific needs. Some trusts are highly flexible, while others make it very hard to make changes but can come with significant tax benefits. The best way to determine which trusts will benefit your estate plan is to consult with an experienced Florida estate lawyer. Be sure to share your goals and priorities, and your lawyer will be able to design a comprehensive estate plan that meets your needs and maximizes trust and tax benefits for both you and your family. They will likely suggest other legal mechanisms as well.
Schedule a Consultation with Mark R. Manceri, P.A.
If you are located in the Pompano Beach area and are ready to develop an estate plan that meets all of your needs and protects your assets, Mark R. Manceri can help. Contact Pompano Beach estate and trust litigation lawyer Mark R. Manceri today and schedule a consultation to find out how he can help you.