estate planningThis is the next post in our series on how residents of Hartford and other Connecticut areas may be able to avoid the probate process after the loss of a loved one. Our last article discussed how a living trust may be used to bypass probate. In addition to skipping probate, a trust can also be used to provide greater flexibility as to the distribution of one’s assets. It is important to retain experienced counsel so that your trust may be structured properly. In this article we will discuss the benefits of your heirs being able to avoid probate. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact us today to speak with an estate planning lawyer.

The first benefit your heirs will receive from skipping probate is that they will save time and money in probate and administration fees. Probate can be a time-consuming process. This is especially true if there are challenges to a will or disputes over whether property should be included in the probate. These types of disputes can last months, if not years, and can require your heirs to attend Court hearings even if they do not live in Connecticut. Also, as the matter draws on, then more of one’s estate will be lost to executor fees as well as legal fees which the heirs will pay out of their eventual inheritance. Skipping probate can prevent your heirs from such burdens.

A second benefit of avoiding probate is that the affairs of yourself and your family will be more easily kept private. Probate filings are public records, which means that anyone can look at the details of an estate and what was passed to the heirs. In addition to the possible intrusions on one’s privacy, having this type of information in the public sphere can lead to excess calls from telemarketers, realtors, and other professionals who are hoping to gain business from the passing of a loved one. It is, for example, common for realtors to obtain lists of individuals who have recently passed away so that they can offer their services in the selling of a home. Avoiding probate can be a large step towards protecting privacy.

Third, avoiding probate can reduce the stress and aggravation which is placed upon the surviving family members. This stress can come in the form of one being asked to serve as an executor when they do not have time to do so. It can also come from having to wait an excessive amount of time for the distribution of assets when such a distribution could have been handled more quickly through a trust. Also, going through probate means that there is a greater chance of fighting amongst the heirs. This can lead to tension and the breakdown of family relationships. This is especially likely in cases where the deceased did a poor job in regard to their estate planning.

These are just some of the benefits of avoiding probate. An experienced attorney can assist you with structuring your affairs so that your heirs do not have to go through a messy process. Importantly, counsel will also help you keep your estate plan up to date as your circumstances change. This helps to ensure that your heirs are not subjected to probate after you thought a proper estate plan had been put in place. Our Hartford estate planning lawyers are able to assist with such issues and we take great pride in the level of service which our firm provides. This level of service includes promptly responding to messages, making ourselves available to answer your questions, and being proactive when it comes to foreseeing potential problems. Contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an initial consultation. We look forward to working with you. We also service the Connecticut areas of Wethersfield, New Britain, Bristol, Rocky Hill, West Hartford, East Hartford, Glastonbury, and Manchester, as well as the Middlesex County cities of Middletown and Cromwell.