The most commonly utilized vehicle of asset transfer in the field of estate planning is the last will. If you do in fact use a last will to express your wishes you have to understand the fact that it is not simply read after your funeral among family members. The last will must be deemed valid by the probate court.
During the probate process the court will supervise the administration of the estate. The actual legwork and hands-on tasks are handled by the executor or personal representative.
Because of the fact that your estate must pass through probate if you use a will people often choose an alternative vehicle of asset transfer such as a revocable living trust.
Why not just go through probate you ask? The primary reasons would be because the process of probate is time-consuming and it can be expensive.
Depending on the complexity of your estate and the dynamic of the jurisdiction in question it could take anywhere from several months to multiple years for the estate to be probated and closed. It is important to understand the fact that the heirs do not receive their inheritances until the court has closed the estate.
As for the expenses involved, right off the bat the court will impose a fee. The executor is entitled to payment, and he or she will often have to bring in professionals like a probate lawyer, an accountant, and perhaps an appraiser or appraisers.
Each case is different, but you may well want to consider the implementation of probate avoidance strategies. To discuss your options with an expert, take action right now to arrange for an informative consultation with a seasoned and savvy Cleveland OH estate planning lawyer.