When someone dies in Washington, their assets must be distributed in a specific order set forth by law. This process is known as “probate.” While probate is necessary in some cases, there are many situations where it isn’t ideal, so formulating your estate plans to avoid it altogether can help your loved ones.
Saves time and money
Estate administration and probate can be time-consuming and expensive. If you have assets that are subject to this process, your loved ones will probably need to hire an attorney and go through the court system to have your assets distributed according to your wishes. This can take months or even years and can end up costing your loved ones thousands of dollars in legal fees.
When someone dies, their will becomes a matter of public record, so anyone interested in your affairs can find out how much you are worth, who gets what and other details about your estate. If you want to keep your affairs private, avoiding probate is the best way to do so.
Dealing with the death of a loved one is hard enough, but going through the probate process can make it even more difficult. Your loved ones will have to relive your death every time they go to court or talk to an attorney. They may also have to deal with fights among family members or creditors trying to get their hands on your assets.
There are many ways to avoid probate, including naming beneficiaries on your accounts, transferring ownership of your property and using trusts. By taking some time to plan ahead, you can spare your loved ones the stress and expense of probate.