A will is often the cornerstone of any comprehensive estate plan, but does that necessarily mean it is the best estate planning tool? Our Texas estate planning attorneys appreciate wills for what they can do, but we also recognize the many things they cannot do. One such thing is avoid probate. At Doehring and Doehring, we help clients craft estate plans that reflect their overall estate planning goals, as well as how they hope to help their loved ones.
Part three of a seven-part series shared by Forbes titled details why you should avoid probate if at all possible. One reason is the cost and delay of probate. Though some states have incorporated less costly and more efficient probate procedures, in most, the costly and time-consuming process of yore remain.
In addition to being costly, probate often makes it difficult for heirs to manage and distribute assets. This is especially true if you own assets in more than one state, as your heirs would then be forced to probate your estate in each of the applicable jurisdictions.
Another reason that individuals and their families wish to avoid probate is the fact that it is an entirely public process. Any interested party could go to probate court and pull up records regarding your estate, its worth and how you chose to distribute your property. Other estate planning tools, however, provide for the confidentiality that probate lacks.
Whether or not you want to avoid probate depends largely on where you live, your budget, and your privacy concerns. You can learn more about wills, probate and other estate planning tools on our web page.