Probate is an additional hurdle that an estate must go through before assets can be distributed to the beneficiaries. This can add time and expense for families, as challenges can arise during probate. Many families try to avoid probate through estate planning. Without trusts in place, most estates will need to pass through probate.
Without a trust or proper asset titling, all estates will need to go through some form of probate. If the estate is valued at less than $25,000, it can go through a simplified probate procedure. Small estates involve outlining and proposing the division of property through affidavit, allowing them to skip probate altogether. The normal estate process involves the Personal Representative distributing estate assets after the creditor claim period. Each estate will need to have some procedure involved regardless of the size of the estate, and it takes time.
All estates valued at more than $25,000 must go through the full probate procedure. This includes:
- Opening probate with the Probate Court
- Appointing a personal representative
- Notifying creditors and heirs of the death
- Gathering and valuing the estate’s assets and filing an inventory and appraisement with the court
- Making a final accounting of the estate
- Distributing the assets to the beneficiaries
- Closing the estate
Difficulties may arise at some point during the probate process. It is a worthwhile investment to have a lawyer helping you while the estate goes through probate. This can minimize potential problems and reduce delays.
Columbia, SC Estate Planning Lawyers
What is a living trust?
This is formed during your lifetime, and it states where your property goes upon your death.
What are some issues during probate?
There could be disputes about the validity of the will or issues raised by creditors.
How can probate be avoided?
Establishing a trust during your lifetime may keep your estate from going through probate. Also, proper asset titling can help to avoid probate.