Probate is a legal process in which the county court reviews the deceased’s estate and assets are distributed based on their wishes as described in a will, or based on state law. If no will was created, then applicable law will come into effect and you may need to consult with a Memphis probate law firm. With probate, the wishes of the deceased, orders to distribute estate property, and debts to be paid is determined and performed. The probate process is something that still remains quite mysterious to many people who arrive at the offices of Patterson Bray seeking legal advice. Our Probate lawyer Memphis, TN can help explain what probate is and offer advice on how to take action now, so you can prevent your estate from undergoing probate in the future.
Why Avoid Probate
You may have already heard that probate is a court process that you should avoid, but may not fully know why. The three reasons why you may want to do what you can to prevent it from occurring in the future is because it can result in unnecessary expenses, time delays, is available for review by the public, and there is little control that loved ones will have during a time of grief. Since probate is technically a court process, there will be legal and court fees. These fees tend to add up to thousands of dollars and are unavoidable if probate occurs. In order to fulfill these expenses, the fees may be taken out from the decedent’s estate. There are several documents that need to be completed with the court and as a result, the transfer of property to heirs may take upwards of half a year to two years. And during that time, the property may not be permitted for sale. The last thing that family members of the deceased probably want as they are grieving, is knowing that their loved one’s information will be accessible to the general public. In most situations, not only is asset value subject to disclosure, but the details regarding beneficiaries may be viewable as well. A judge who has never met the decedent or the family members may be responsible for making choices as to who receives what assets. Loved ones may become distraught after seeing their relative’s assets go to people who are undeserving of this piece of legacy. As a Memphis probate law firm, Patterson Bray can provide these examples of a few things you can do right now to prevent probate:
Using beneficiary designations to assign who you want to receive a portion of your assets after passing away
Writing a revocable trust with help from a trusted Memphis probate law firm
Adding a joint owner to a bank account, deed for real estate, or investment account
Giving most of your assets away through a special trust
There are a limited number of approaches when it comes to avoiding probate in the future for your family members after you have passed on. The best way to take action is by meeting with an experienced Memphis probate law firm who understands why probate happens. A lawyer at a Memphis probate law firm can offer advice on how to protect your assets and family members from the prolonged and expensive process of probate. Contact Patterson Bray now for your free consultation.