In Florida, any assets that are not passed on through a will, trust or other beneficiary designations may be subject to probate. What that means is that those assets need to be reviewed by a court before they can be passed on to an heir based on state law.
Not avoiding probate is a serious problem, because it is time consuming and expensive. Your loved ones may be left footing the bill for probate as well as waiting longer to get the assets that you intended to leave them behind. Also, if the people you want to leave assets to are not family members or are not the family members that would get assets based on intestacy laws, then they won’t receive them as you would have liked.
Probate can mess up your plans
The reason it’s so important to focus on avoiding probate is because it can ruin your plans so easily. For example, you may have intended to pass your home on to your grandchild, but if you didn’t include those wishes in your will or trust, the state laws may actually pass your property on to your spouse or child.
Probate can cost too much money
Sometimes, probate is so costly that people don’t want to go through it. Probate could cost anywhere from 3% to 7% of your estate’s value, though some cases are more or less expensive. To avoid leaving your loved ones less money and fewer assets, designating beneficiaries and setting up your estate plan to avoid probate is important.
Probate is time intensive during a difficult time in your loved ones’ lives
Your passing is going to be upsetting to those who cared about you. Having to go through probate during such a sensitive time can be heartbreaking all over again. To help your loved ones avoid a long, drawn-out legal process after your death, consider taking action to prevent probate in your estate plan.
These are a few things to consider about probate and why you should avoid it. Some simple planning techniques can help you keep your estate out of probate.