Understandably, death can be a difficult subject to discuss. However, planning for this inevitable event can save family members and loved ones from having to make difficult situations down the road. An estate plan can ensure that assets are protected and remain in the family. Having an estate plan can also minimize the chances that assets end up in probate court. The following information may prove helpful for families in Michigan who want to know more about estate planning and probate.
Probate refers to the legal process of settling a person’s estate after his or her death. Probate is a lengthy and expensive process that can take many months to complete. The probate process is also made public, meaning anyone can access the details of any assets that pass through probate court. Not only will probate court prevent heirs from accessing the assets that have been left for them, it can also diminish how much heirs receive.
It’s easy to see why most families prefer to avoid probate, and one of the best ways to do this is with a revocable living trust. A revocable living trust is similar to a will in that an individual can determine how assets are distributed upon his or her death. Trust owners can also specify how to direct certain assets after death. However, there are instances in which families may not want to avoid probate. In complicated estates, heirs sometimes have disputes over asset distributions, in which case it may be helpful for an estate to pass through probate so the court will be involved.
Knowing property and assets are taken care of can provide much-needed peace of mind. Families in Michigan who have questions about estate planning and probate could benefit by consulting a legal representative. A knowledgeable attorney can provide legal guidance and help families create the best plan to fit their needs.