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Probate is the court monitored process of administering an estate after a person has passed away. You may have heard that it can be a good idea to try to avoid probate, which can be accomplished during the estate planning process. At this point, however, you may be wondering why it can be so beneficial to avoid the probate process. There are several prominent reasons for doing this and we will discuss them in more detail here.

Why Avoid Probate?

The prospect of facing an intensive and extensive legal process in the wake of losing a loved one can seem less than appealing. It’s true that probate is quite the involved process and it can take a significant amount of time to complete. This is one of the main reasons that people try to avoid probate. Between waiting on the administration of an estate and delays in court scheduling and proceedings, probate can be lengthy, to say the least.

Consider, for instance, the things that must be accomplished by the personal representative of the estate. The personal representative must gather, inventory, and manage the assets of the estate. The personal representative must notify all potential creditors of the estate to the fact that probate is commencing, wait for any responses, and then verify as well as pay any valid claims made against the estate. Among other things, the final taxes of the estate must also be paid. As you can tell, this non-exhaustive list is still heavily filled with involved tasks and responsibilities that must be completed before probate can wrap up. This also means that heirs of the estate must wait the entire time before getting their inheritances.

In addition to the consumption of time, probate can also be expensive. The court fees and associated legal expenses of probate can quickly eat away at financial resources. Depending on the complexity of the estate, experts may need to be hired and attorneys retained. All of this can add up to be a costly endeavor.

On top of the time and financial drain, probate also affords little to know privacy for those involved. The probate process is a matter of public record. This means that the property of a person’s estate and how that property is to be distributed will be available for review and scrutiny by the public. Should you want privacy for your estate and your loved ones, avoiding the probate process is something you should most certainly look into when planning your estate.

New York Estate Planning Attorneys

Whether you have an estate plan in place already or still need to do so, it is not too late to put legal tools and plans in place to successfully avoid probate! Talk to the knowledgeable estate planning team at Merlino & Gonzalez about your options and we will be happy to assist. Helping families and loved ones plan and protect their futures is what we do. Contact us today.