When you plan your estate, you should see the big picture. Yes, you have to decide exactly how you want your assets to be distributed after you are gone. At the same time, it is wise to consider the process of estate administration, because it can impact your decisions.
In this post, we will provide some useful information that may help you make the right choice.
Wills and Probate
If you use a last will as your vehicle of asset transfer, you would name an executor or personal representative to act as the hands-on administrator. This individual or entity would not be able to act independently. The will would be admitted to probate, and the court would provide supervision.
During probate, there is a filing fee, and the executor is entitled to payment. In some cases, an accountant and a lawyer will be brought in, and liquidations and appraisals may be necessary.
All of this is expensive and inefficient, and there is another major negative. When ownership of the property is not consolidated, the executor must identify innumerable assets and financial accounts in many instances. This will get done, but it is unnecessarily tedious.
Even if the executor can complete these tasks in relatively short order, there is a waiting game that must be played before the inheritances will be distributed. The court has a prescribed time frame under the law, and it will usually take eight or nine months to year in most jurisdictions.
A Viable Alternative
If all the above sounds unnecessarily complicated, there is a solution that you can embrace to get assets into the hands of your loved ones in a more efficient manner. A revocable living trust is a versatile tool that provides many benefits, but we will focus on the estate administration process here.
You name a trustee in the document to administer the trust after your death, and your heirs would be the beneficiaries. When you fund the trust, you are making the trust the owner of the property, but worry not.
As the grantor of the trust, you can do anything you want to do with the resources every step of the way, because you can act as the trustee and the beneficiary. You also retain the power of revocation, so there is absolutely no loss of control.
After you pass away, the trustee will be well prepared to spring into action effectively and efficiently from the outset. All of the assets will be owned by the trust, so there will be no need to track down a bunch of separate property and scattered ownership documents and financial records.
Plus, the probate court would not be involved in the distributions. That’s right, the trustee would be able to provide resources to the beneficiaries in accordance with your wishes outside of probate. As a result, all of the drawbacks would be completely avoided.
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Schedule an Estate Planning Consultation!
If you have already learned enough to know that it is time for you to put an estate plan in place, we are here to help. Our office environment is completely safe, and you can check out our promise to you to gain an understanding of the precautions that we have taken.
To schedule a consultation appointment, give us a call at 808-531-5391. There is also a contact form this website that you can use if you would like to send us a message.
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