Five Reasons to Avoid Probate
You often hear that you should ‘avoid probate’ when doing estate planning, but do you know
why you would want property to avoid the probate process?
You often hear that you should ‘avoid probate’ when doing estate planning. Why does estate
planning often involve avoiding probate?
Probate takes place in Oregon’s Probate Court, and involves court filing fees, legal notices that
must be published and other necessary expenses. Usually, a probate attorney is needed to help
with the legal filings and appearances that are involved in the process.
Court proceedings generate public records. With Probate Court proceedings those public records
can include financial data from the estate as well as the distribution of assets. Many families
prefer to keep this information private, and using a trust to transfer assets can keep valuable
property from becoming part of a public record.
Probate is a slow and time-consuming process. It’s a procedure run by the court system, and if
everything goes smoothly, it can be completed in ‘only’ 6-9 months, but with the challenges of
complex estates, the process may take over a year. During this time, assets are in limbo and the
estate’s assets, such as bank accounts, may be unavailable. A life insurance policy or retirement
account, both of which avoid the probate process, can transfer cash to a beneficiary to provide
for immediate financial needs while probate takes place.
When assets, particularly stocks, are caught in the probate process, the time involved can result
in a financial loss. When an executor (personal representative) is unable to sell items such as
stocks with decreasing value, or real-estate that is depreciating, it may result in a loss for the
Administering an estate is a stressful process, as is grieving – combine the two and you have a
major reason people would want to speed up the settlement of an estate.
While avoiding probate is one goal of estate planning, lessening the burden of one’s passing on
loved ones is another. Using various estate planning tools such as trusts, can help create a
smooth, less cumbersome transition of assets to heirs and beneficiaries.
Experienced estate planning attorneys Portland OR of the Law Offices of Richard B. Schneider
LLC offers estate planning and business planning resources to residents of Portland OR. To learn
more about these free resources, please visit http://www.rbsllc.com today.