What is a Probate?
Crafting your last will and testament can be an emotionally stressful situation. These feelings are only exaggerated when you realize how difficult the task of dividing up your estate will be for your family members one you have passed away. Here at the Alder Law Group, we understand your desire to keep matters as simple and straightforward as possible for your loved ones. That’s why we strive to provide the proper information to our clients about the estate planning process and what your options are.
Once you have passed away, your will has to be determined valid by a probate court. The process of determining the validity of your will is called probate. Probate courts are specialized courts that deal with the administration of one’s estate. If the court finds your will to be valid, then your estate will be divided up accordingly. If your will is determined to be invalid, the court will determine who shall be the receiver of your estate. Regardless of whether your will is contested or not, the probate process is necessary to implement its terms, something that many people do not realize.
Avoiding probate hearings is gaining popularity because of the fees associated with using them. Probate court hearings are also very lengthy and often contentious. This is why we recommend using an alternative to a will to help you avoid these unpleasurable experiences.
One of the most popular ways to avoid a probate hearing is to draft a living trust rather than a last will and testament. These trusts are drafted while you are still alive and are capable of making the decision about who shall receive your estate without needing to go through the probate court to receive the inheritance. If you have a will and your descendants have to go through a probate court to receive your estate, then this court hearing becomes a public record. This is one of the best benefits of living trusts. Since they don’t have to go through a probate court, your estate is handled without it becoming part of the public records.
If you are interested in drafting a living trust, you aren’t alone. Since this practice is growing in popularity in the Salt Lake City, UT area, we are extremely apt at drafting them. You can contact us here or call us at 801.463.2600 to have us assist you in your estate planning.