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Probate is not always a bad thing

Many people in Texas who hear about wills or estates going through the probate process after a person dies automatically assign a negative connotation to this. However, probate is not always a bad thing and may even work in people's favor in some circumstances. Understanding probate and its potential pros and cons is important before making a final decision about an estate plan.

One thing that Forbes indicates people should understand is that many types of assets do not need to go through a probate process. Inheritances based upon being a named beneficiary on someone's life insurance policy, 401K account plan or other financial asset are outside the scope of probate. Therefore, if these types of assets represent a large or even all of a person's estate, worrying about avoiding probate should not be a concern.

Also outside the scope of probate may be an asset which automatically passes to a joint asset holder. Perhaps the most common situation is a home that is in the name of two spouses. When one spouse dies, the surviving spouse automatically assumes ownership without any need for probate.

Some people are concerned about the public nature of probate and in this case, according to The Balance a trust may be considered as the details of these estate planning tools are confidential. However, with a trust there is no limit on when a person may initiate a dispute. With probate, however, once the case is closed there remains no further opportunity for opposing the wishes in the plan.

 

 

 

 

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