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Probate: Is it always necessary?

On Behalf of | Dec 24, 2020 | Estate Planning |

You might hear families in Texas and around the nation say that probate is the last thing they want to go through when a loved one passes away and their estate begins to be distributed. One of the biggest reasons behind avoiding probate is because of its long and expensive completion timeline. Is probate always necessary for families to go through? Read on to learn further information about this legal process and why you may be able to save your family from going through probate.

What exactly is probate?

Probate may sound like a complex legal term, but it really just means that a judge is approving the action of distributing estate assets to family members. This is especially prevalent within families with very large estates.

Is my will enough to avoid it?

During estate planning, your attorney may inquire about probate and if you would like to skip the process altogether. This may seem like an odd question if you believe that simply having a will is enough to avoid probate. The fact is that it can only be avoided if your will is specifically crafted to do so.

Gifting to avoid probate

Many states across the country understand the hardship that the probate process can place on a family. Some states will allow estates worth under $100,000 to avoid the process altogether. If you’re just above this number, you may still be able to avoid it. The most popular route is through gifting. This is where you gift funds or assets to family members while you’re alive, thus reducing the estate’s worth.

The information above includes just a few of the routes you can take to make probate unnecessary after your death. However, it is still recommended to consult with an attorney throughout the process to avoid making legal mistakes.