Probate refers to the legal process in which your estate is distributed to your heirs, either according to your wishes or according to intestate succession rules. One of the most common aspects of estate planning is to minimize the impact of probate and to remove as many assets as possible from your probate estate. You can work with a lawyer in New Hampshire or Maine to create an estate plan that carries out your wishes after you pass away.
Although probate does provide for reliable procedure for the distribution of your property in the absence of a will, or enforces and validates the wishes of the deceased if a will exists, there are several different cons. The first of these is that probate is a matter of public record, meaning that many documents may become accessible to the public. There might also be substantial costs, including executor fees, court fees and attorney fees, and probate can be very time consuming.
The inheritance payment to your beneficiaries may be delayed by months or even years and that’s assuming there are no additional estate disputes, such as someone alleging that the will is invalid. In order to discuss your options for minimizing the impact of probate and removing as many of your assets as possible from it, it is best to work directly with a qualified and experienced estate planning lawyer.
You may be eligible to use other estate planning strategies like the creation and funding of a trust to ensure that your beneficiaries receive their assets as soon as possible and in a streamlined and private manner. Contact our NH estate planning law office to begin discussions about the best planning tools for you.