Is Avoiding Probate Really Advantageous?

One of the most common reasons supporting the use of a living trust is that it can help your heirs avoid probate.  Although this is often mentioned as a big benefit, many people are unaware of some of the negative impacts of allowing their estate to go through probate to begin with.

If you use a valid will to manage your estate instead, the details will enter the probate process.  The executor of your will distributed your assets under the guidance of court proceedings and formal rules.  In some complicated situations, this can take months or even years.

Choosing to use a living trust instead speeds up the process a great deal, meaning that your heirs get access to your assets without having to worry about the headache or delays associated with probate.  As an added advantage, a living trust adds a layer of privacy to your estate.  Wills that go through probate, however, are part of the court’s public record.  Many individuals who choose to hire a Staten Island trusts and estate lawyer want the privacy shield afforded by using a living trust.

You shouldn’t make a final decision about establishing a living trust until you have had the opportunity to communicate with an experienced attorney.  There are many different kinds of estate planning documents that could help you plan not only for your own future but also for the future of your heirs.  Whether it’s a living trust or some other combination of planning tools, thinking ahead can help your heirs avoid the process of probate and obtain access to what you have left for them more quickly.