Are there advantages to going through probate?

As you plan your estate, you may hear about many strategies that can help you avoid probate, the legal process that oversees the distribution of an estate. However, avoiding probate is not the best option for every estate, and fear of probate can result in costly estate planning mistakes. What are the advantages of going through probate?

Legal oversight can help minimize heirs’ concerns.

Trusts and other estate planning options that avoid probate allow families to maintain their privacy, but there are benefits to a public, court-overseen process. Because probate requires full disclosure of all the assets in an estate and the appraisal of many assets, this process can give beneficiaries comfort and confidence.

The probate process can reduce the risk of errors.

Miscommunication and misinterpretation can happen in any situation, but when those issues occur during the administration of your estate, the beneficiaries could end up with less than they need. In a trust, it can be difficult to resolve these errors. However, if there is confusion about the language of a will, a probate judge can decide which interpretation is correct.

Probate helps ensure that taxes and debts are resolved correctly.

An estate may have a number of financial concerns, including debts and taxes, and the probate process allows the court to determine the correct way to resolve these financial responsibilities. Because the court makes this decision, it will also protect your beneficiaries from liability if an issue arises.

When you plan your estate, it can be important to discuss your specific needs with an experienced attorney. They can help you navigate the requirements of estate planning and choose the planning tools that achieve your goals.