What are the advantages of probate?

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2022 | Estate Planning |

Anyone executing an estate plan knows the popular advice about avoiding probate. However, it can be helpful to consider the benefits of dividing your assets under the court’s supervision.

The probate process can facilitate the distribution of your estate in Pennsylvania.

How does probate work?

Probate is the process of legitimizing a deceased person’s will before distributing its contents to the heirs it names and reconciling pending debts. Bank, insurance or retirement accounts, property deeds, trust funds and other assets for which trustors name specific beneficiaries do not go through probate. However, in Pennsylvania, estates worth more than $50,000, not including the decedent’s land, home and funeral expenses, must go through probate.

What are the benefits of going through probate?

Many people want to avoid probate because court processes are slow and costly and expose their estate planning wishes to the public. For estates with values exceeding the state limits for avoiding probate, there are various options for staying out of court. However, probate comes with considerable benefits.

For example, in addition to providing another level of oversight to ensure your wishes, probate may discourage conflict among family members who want to avoid public exposure to their disputes.

Also, probate can facilitate your estate’s debt payments. Creditors must apply for reconciliation within a specific period before they forfeit payment. However, the executor must ensure the decedent’s heirs understand they will receive a tax form 1009-C, making them responsible for paying loan forgiveness taxes.

Finally, probate involves calculating your estate’s overall tax obligations relieving your heirs of this responsibility and ensuring they avoid making costly errors.

Understanding the advantages of probate means you can create an estate plan that suits your wishes and does not revolve around avoiding it.

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