The process of estate administration is something that you should educate yourself about when you are engaged in your legacy planning efforts. You probably want your heirs to receive their inheritances in a timely manner, and the way that you plan your estate will significantly impact the time frame.
Last Wills and Probate
There are those who assume that the estate representative can distribute assets to the heirs that are named in a last will shortly after the passing of the decedent. In reality, this is not the case, because the executor or personal representative cannot act independently.
Under state laws, the executor would be required to admit the will to probate. The executor would take care of the business of the estate in a hands-on manner, but the administration of the estate would be supervised by the court.
The exact duration the probate process will depend on the circumstances. In some cases, there are numerous debts to be settled, and there can be extensive property that must be liquidated before it is distributed among the heirs.
There are also cases that are contested, and this would prolong the process.
Under the simplest circumstances, the probate process will take close to a year in most areas, and there are complicated cases that can take considerably longer. The heirs that are named in a will do not receive their inheritances until the estate has been probated and closed by the court.
If you would like to learn more about the probate process and the time consumption that goes along with it, download our in-depth special report on the subject. You can download your copy of the report through this website, and it is being offered free of charge right now.
To get your copy of the special report, click this link: Free Probate Report.
When you look into the facts, you may decide that you would prefer to use a living trust as the centerpiece of your estate plan. The person or entity who administers a living trust is the trustee, and you can act as the trustee while you are living if you establish a living trust.
In the trust declaration, you name a trustee to succeed you after you are gone. This can be someone that you know, but you could alternately use a corporate fiduciary like a trust company.
Since the asset distributions to the beneficiaries would not be subject to the probate process, in many cases, the inheritors can begin to receive inheritances in a timely manner.
We also have a free special report on trust administration you may want to access as well. Click this link and follow the simple instructions to get your copy: Trust Administration Report.
Schedule a Consultation
You should certainly arm yourself with as much information as you can when you are planning your estate, and we provide resources on this website. At the same time, there is no true substitute for a one-on-one consultation with a licensed attorney.
If you would like to take this step, send us a message through this page to schedule an appointment: Essex Junction VT Estate Planning Attorneys.