Avoid Probate – Save Your Survivors Expense & Year of Probate Hell
Everyone can avoid probate. Your surviving family members and loved ones can be spared the 12 to 18 months of frustration and aggravation by making a phone call to Boston area estate planning and living trust attorney Michael J. Hurley.
Top Reasons to Avoid Probate
(1) – State mandated probate it is very expensive.
(2) – Probate is slow. Probate takes more than a year. Your survivors are unexpectedly required to deal with Court filings and Court appearances.
(3) – Probate is a public process for all to see. The Court gets involved in the private lives and finances of your surviving family members. Your family member names, ages, any disputes, and your financial data all becomes ‘searchable public record.’ People you worked with, old friends, neighbors, ANY nosey ‘busy-bodies’ can access and read all your private family details.
(4) – Your survivors are often prevented from accessing bank accounts and other assets.
(5) – Your loved are often prevented from refinancing or selling the house, even if attempting to make ends meet because of your passing.
(6) – Fights and disputes among your survivors are more likely to break out over who gets what and when.
How to Avoid Probate? – Set up a Living Trust
A simple and affordable ‘Living Trust’ will avoid ALL those awful outcomes. You can protect your family from dealing with probate which will likely be the outcome if you pass away without an estate plan, or with only a Will. That’s right, if you die with just a Will, it is the rule — not the exception — that a state-mandated probate will be required.
A living trust (revocable trust) avoids probate, keeps the government out of your families’ private affairs and finances, transfers your home and assets to those you intend them for privately, quickly, smoothly, and without creating family drama. Common family dramas that plague those who never set up a Living Trust are eliminated. When you set up your Living Trust, it is often a shared family process with one’s spouse, kids and other loved ones. The process itself is both healthy and satisfying in that everyone is (often) consulted or aware of what you are doing, even if you hold back on all the details. Family is ‘on-board’ that you thought through your wishes and desires. When you die unexpectedly without your loved-ones knowing you invested time and thinking, family disputes are oftentimes the result.
How do I Get a Living Trust?
You can get a custom Living Trust by consulting with an estate planning attorney. If you call Michael J. Hurley at (617) 712-2000, you and he can talk through your unique circumstances about what you have, who you want your property to go to and answer all your questions.
Living trust attorney, Michael J. Hurley will explain in detail what a revocable trust is, and how it can help you and your family avoid probate. If you’re ready to get started right away, Michael can ask you the questions needed to get started on drafting your custom living trust and estate plan. You can do this at our Boston or North Andover offices or even do most of the process without you needing to leave your home. Attorney Hurley does more that 50% of estate plans with Massachusetts residents remotely and conveniently by phone and email. When Michael has your Living Trust and companion estate planning documents ready, you can come to the office, or Michael can visit you at your home, work, or even a hospital room or FedEx your documents to you for review and signing with your neighborhood notary.
Who Should Make Every Attempt to Avoid Probate?
Most people with assets, married or who have children should avoid probate. If you own a home, vacation home and other property you should investigate getting a revocable trust – a Living Trust. Then if anything happens to you, those assets can transfer smoothly and quickly to those beneficiaries that you specify.
A probate can cause financial difficulties for decedent’s family or business associates
As previously stated, the probate process can tie up the estate and the “heir’s” inheritance for 12 to 18 months. While the decedent’s estate is going through the long, drawn-out, probate process, the heirs may have to scramble, beg and borrow to fund the probate costs and living expenses. If there is no reservoir of cash, the heirs must find a way to make mortgage payments, car payments, utility bills and other expenses. If the decedent owned a business or investments, the heirs will need cash to keep all the balls in the air. Unfortunately, while there might be plenty of assets, sometimes it is difficult or unlawful to liquidate the assets for cash before probate is completed.
Probates Can Drag On for 12 to 18 Months
The probate process is often a year or more. The process is often an emotional roller-coaster. Probates generally require court filings, court appearances, exacting letters and documents to be drafted and constant communication between the Executor and probate attorney. A person’s funeral might add a few weeks of stress following a death, BUT the probate process can drag a families’ emotions on and on for a year and longer. Probates get old – fast! The people who call us wanting a Living Trust for themselves are most-likely someone who just finished a spouse’s probate and WILL NOT let that happen to their kids and surviving family. MA Probate Courts
How do Living Trusts (Revocable Trusts) Work?
The creator of a Living Trust transfers the ownership of their real property from themselves into a trust. The creator of the trust is ALSO the owner of the “trust” and he or she controls every aspect of the trust. It is as if nothing changes. As the owner of the trust, you can change or add to the conditions of the trust; you can get rid of the trust as if it never existed – you are in complete control of your ‘Living Trust’ while you are alive. Upon the death of the trust creator/owner, beneficiaries who are spelled-out in the trust, become owners of the property held in the trust in the EXACT way that you pre-determine. For example, you could say the rare Mustang goes to a high school friend, while a vacation home is split 50/50 between your two eldest daughters. You have exacting say of WHO gets what, WHEN.
Besides a trust offering total control of your estate, avoiding probate, and avoiding future family squabbles, a Living Trust, unlike a public probate, keeps your private financial, family details, and estate matters shielded from public scrutiny.
Bottom Line – You can avoid probate, the cost of probate, the year-long probate process, airing your private family finances from becoming part of Internet-searchable public record, and future family drama and conflicts by getting a simple, affordable Living Trust (revocable trust). A Living Trust can transfer your home and other assets to those you intend without government involvement and oversight, smoothly and quickly.
If you cannot call right now, email Boston wills attorney Hurley below: