Probate is the legal process that is typically required following the death of an individual. Probate is intended to serve a variety of functions, including:
- Providing for the identification, location, and valuation of the decedent’s estate assets.
- Allowing creditors of the decedent to file claims against the estate.
- Ensuring that state and federal estate taxes are paid.
- Facilitating the transfer of estate assets to beneficiaries and heirs of the estate.
If your estate is required to go through formal probate it will likely be costly, both in terms of time and money which is why many people choose to include probate avoidance tools and strategies in their estate plan.