Many people try to avoid probate when they pass away. This is a process where a judge goes through the estate and has to oversee the whole process. Probate can be expensive, is put on public record, and takes longer than the process an estate has to go through if it is not probated. This is why many people do whatever they can to avoid probate. However, there are some circumstances under which the estate has to be probated. Here are some of those instances.
1. The Deceased Left Everything Solely in Their Name
When you meet with an estate-planning attorney, they will have you name beneficiaries. You can name primary beneficiaries as well as secondary beneficiaries and so forth. This means that when you pass away, your estate will pass to these people. If things are organized right, you can avoid probate with this approach, but if you fail to go through and decide who gets your money and your estate, a judge has to go through and divide everything up. They will look at all of your living descendants and divide up the estate based on the laws in that state. This is why it is best if you can meet with an estate-planning attorney and at the very least make sure you have a beneficiary named.
2. You Have Only a Will and No Trust Accounts
One of the best ways to organize your estate is to do it through trust accounts. Trust accounts are great because they keep your estate more private, give you more control, and are easier for your beneficiaries to access. If you have a will only, it will have to be probated. A will can give directions of how you want things to be organized, but the will will still have to go through the courts before those things can all be done. This is why most attorney's recommend that you use a pour-over will. This pour-over will is ideal because it will cause that everything that is in the will to be poured over into the trust so that if there was anything that you forgot to add to your trust, it will automatically be poured into the trust.
3. Your Family Disputes the Estate Plan
Another reason why you may have to probate an estate plan is if the beneficiaries are fighting over it. In this case, a judge may have to intervene and decide whether the estate plan is valid. If it is decided that it is not a valid plan, then the court will probate it.
These are just a couple things you need to know about an estate plan being probated. Talk to a probate lawyer at a firm like Wilson Deege Despotovich Riemenschneider & Rittgers for more information.