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Looking to Avoid Probate? Get Legal Guidance From Steven Friedman

Avoiding Probate in Pembroke Pines

Pembroke Pines Estate Planning Attorney

For many who are considering estate planning, avoiding probate is an important concern. There are a number of reasons why those who are involved in estate planning, may be interested in seeking out the ways that probate could be avoided, most commonly, so that the named beneficiaries of the estate gain access to the funds and property in the estate more quickly. Probate is essentially a procedure by which a deceased person's will is validated, outstanding bills paid, and the remainder of the estate distributed to the beneficiaries. The process can be lengthy, as there could be challenges to the will, various creditors, tax bills and other issues to resolve. It is necessary to inventory and appraise the property, pay off debts and taxes, and to eventually distribute what is left of the estate to the named heirs.

If you wish to avoid probate, my firm, the Law Office of Steven Friedman, is prepared to assist you today. With over 38 years of experience, I am able to provide insightful and knowledgeable counsel that will fit their exact needs. Every client has unique circumstances, and requires the assistance of a truly experienced estate planning attorney. For many, it is in their best interests to avoid probate for the following reasons:

Probate can be costly.

Probate involves an administrator of your estate, however it also involves attorneys, accountants, and other professionals who may needed in the probate process. The fees for services are paid out of the estate property. Avoiding probate can decrease these expenses markedly.

Probate can create contention.

Family members may not agree regarding the distribution of assets and debts. Avoiding probate allows for a more discreet process. Maintaining privacy greatly decreases the possibility of having a public battle between family members concerning the distribution of your estate.

Probate can be time-consuming.

For larger estates, probate can take years. A person who dies without a will (intestate) or Trust, will essentially make the state your "estate planner," which will not be advantageous. Once the application is filed, data collection is initiated. This process takes time, either months or years, and once it is complete, inventory of property and income tax filing must take place. Meanwhile, your assets could be frozen and cannot be accessed by your beneficiaries.

How to Avoid Probate

There are several ways that probate could be avoided, including the establishment of a living trust. This allows a portion (or all) of your assets to pass directly to your heirs. Your assets are placed in a trust, and then distributed by your named Trustee to your beneficiaries, allowing your loved ones to avoid a long wait and serious problems in sorting out an estate that is moving through probate, with losses in fees that will be paid by the estate. Another important way to avoid probate is to ensure that you name the beneficiaries for your bank accounts, your retirement accounts and other assets. In this manner, your heirs can gain faster access to funds and other assets upon your death.

You may also take action to have your property held jointly and have a right to survivorship, so that upon your death, the ownership will transfer immediately to the other party. If you are concerned about those you love gaining access to your estate upon your death, my firm can help you establish the right estate plan that protects the property and other assets you have gained over your lifetime, as well as protect your loved ones so that they don't face serious problems when you pass away.

If you are concerned about avoiding the probate process, but feel you would like more information please do not hesitate to contact my firm today so that I may answer any additional questions you may have.

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