Probate: What Is It, And Why You Should Avoid It

Posted by smith clea on November 10th, 2022

Probate is the legal process that is completed to distribute the assets of someone who has died.

Assets include bank accounts, investments, personal property, and real estate.

In order to finalize probate, it is necessary to file a petition with the probate court.

The process can be long and costly, so it's a good idea to avoid probates if possible.

What Is Probate?

When a person dies, their estate must go through probate before it can be inherited by their beneficiaries.

Probate is the legal process of administering a deceased person's estate.

It includes collecting the deceased person's assets, paying any debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries.

Probate can be a long and costly process.

It typically takes several months to complete, and the executor of the estate (the person responsible for managing the probate process) may have to pay thousands of dollars in court fees and attorney's fees.

Furthermore, probate is a public process, which means that the details of the deceased person's estate (including their financial information) will be available to anyone who requests it.

Because of the time and expense involved in probate, many people try to avoid it if possible.

There are several ways to do this, including setting up trusts or transferrable ownership agreements.

However, even if you take these steps, your estate may still have to go through probate if you die without a will or if your will is contested.

What Is Probate And Why You Should Avoid It?

probate is the legal process of transferring the property of a deceased person to their heirs.

It can be a lengthy and expensive process, during which the estate is often frozen and unable to be accessed by the beneficiaries.

Additionally, probate often requires the assistance of an attorney, which can further increase the cost.

There are several ways to avoid probate, including creating a trust or transferring ownership of assets to a beneficiary prior to death.

Probate can be avoided entirely if all assets are held jointly with a surviving spouse or partner.

You can also designate someone in your will (called a personal representative or executor) to handle your affairs after you die, without going through probate.

How To Avoid Probate

There are a few key things you can do to avoid probate:

  1. Make sure you have a valid will in place: This document will outline your wishes for how your assets should be distributed after you die and can help to avoid any family conflict or disagreements.
  1. Set up trusts for your assets: This can be done during your lifetime or as part of your will. Trusts can help to keep your assets out of probate court, and can also provide tax advantages.
  1. Name beneficiaries for your accounts: Many financial accounts, such as life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and bank accounts, allow you to name a beneficiary who will receive the account funds after your death. This can help to avoid probate altogether.
  1. Give gifts during your lifetime: If you have assets that you would like to pass on to loved ones, consider giving them as gifts while you are still alive. This can help to ensure that they receive the assets immediately, without having to go through probate court.
  1. Stay organized and keep good records: Probate can be avoided altogether if all of your assets are properly titled in your name (or in the name of a trust) and there is no question about who owns what. Keeping good records throughout your life will make it easier for your loved ones to sort everything out after you're gone.


Probate is a long, complicated, and expensive process that you should avoid if at all possible.

If you have to go through probate, make sure you hire a good lawyer to help you navigate the system.

With a little bit of planning, you can make sure your loved ones don't have to go through probate after you're gone.

About The Author

Smith Clea is a USA-based author on Legal issues related to estate planning, will & trust, business law, and elder law. Smith Clea does her best writing on these topics that help users to find the best solutions to their FAQ on estate planning, probate process, living wills and trusts, and more about legal family issues. The author can be reached at

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smith clea
Joined: February 6th, 2020
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