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What Are The Two Estate Planning Mistakes That Will Lead To Probate?


Probate serves a function. But, even so, probate also serves to prevent your beneficiaries from receiving their assets in a timely, inexpensive manner.

Given the facts above, avoiding probate can, and should, be one of your major estate planning goals. To reach this goal, though, there are two mistakes you must avoid.

Why Is Avoiding Probate A Good Idea? 

Right before your assets can go to the people you would like to give them to, they must go through a probate process.

Going through a probate process allows the court to determine who has legal ownership over the assets you’ve chosen to give to certain people.

On its own, this may seem fine. But, the problem with probate is that it often takes a very long time – anywhere from nine-months to two-years, depending on what happens throughout the process.

Your beneficiaries will need to wait a long time to get the assets you have chosen to give them. This can be problematic if you would like them to receive their assets as soon as possible.

To prevent this from happening, you can work with an estate planning lawyer who will help you develop an estate plan that bypasses probate. In order for this estate plan to be effective, though, in bypassing probate, there are two estate planning mistakes that you must avoid.

Mistake 01: Creating A Last Will And Testament – And Only A Last Will And Testament 

A good last will and testament is very useful. And, as such, every estate plan should contain a last will and testament of one sort or another.

Even though the above is true, a problem does arise when the only document within one’s estate plan is that of a last will and testament. The problem, in question, is that probate is guaranteed.

Rather than only creating a last will and testament, you must also create an effective trust. The act of doing so will allow your beneficiaries to avoid probate, ensuring that they receive their assets quickly.

Mistake 02: Failing To Update Your Estate Plan 

You can develop an effective trust and, in doing so, prevent your beneficiaries from going through probate. But, this is only true if you actively update your trust – and, in turn, the estate plan – every time you add new assets.

A failure to update your trust, so that it includes these new assets, will force these assets to go through probate.

All of the other assets can stay out of probate, but the ones that haven’t been properly added to the trust will be forced to go through probate, thereby making it harder for your beneficiaries to receive them in a timely manner.

To avoid this mistake, it is imperative that, when you add new assets to your trust, you update the trust and your estate plan, so that it aligns with these new additions.

Speak With A Florida Estate Planning Lawyer 

A good estate plan can, and will, bypass probate. Speak with a Florida estate planning lawyer at the Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group today and we will assist you in developing an estate plan that satisfies your needs and goals.




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