Probate: Disadvantages & How to Avoid It – The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen

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Hi, I’m Kim Rainen, an estate planning and elder law attorney in Andover, Massachusetts. Today, I want to tell you a little bit about probate. What is it? How does it work? And why do we care? Probate is the process of presenting a will before a probate and Family Court Judge for allowance or for the court to determine intestacy meaning you passed away without a will. If someone passes away without a will, the state has an estate plan for you. Either way, this process results in the appointment of a personal representative. This person is in charge of administering the estate. So what I really want you to know are the disadvantages of needing to go through probate. First, you have to go to court. Second, it’s all part of public record so anybody can look up what’s going on. Third, it’s time consuming. And fourth, it’s expensive. But the good news is with proper planning, probate can be easily avoided. assets held jointly with rights of survivorship pass automatically to a surviving co owner. accounts with a beneficiary designation would pass automatically to those you’ve listed and harder to plan for assets such as real estate can avoid probate by being transferred into a trust. We know estate planning isn’t fun to think about, but you’re not alone. We would love to talk through what might make sense for you and your loved ones. Call us today.