Estate planning may seem easybetween spouses, but beware of the pitfalls of probate. The law tends to put a number of things on autopilot, soloving spouses with few other goals or concerns might just let things run theircourse â€¦ and probate is lurking around the estate planning corner.
If you want to keep your estateout of the court, then there are certain steps you need to take and certaintraps you need to avoid. This is discussed in the final installment of athree-part series for married couples in Forbestitled â€œEstate Plan Funding for Spouses.â€
Indeed, probate truly is a courtproceeding which can be chock full of court rules, court timelines, and timespent idling in the clerkâ€™s office. Any plan that lets the courts pick up thepieces of your estate plan falls into that rut. In addition, if your estateattracts any detractors or encounters other complications, then it is likely tostay there for some time. As a result, many people seek to have their estateskip straight on past those dark court corridors.
As pointed out in the originalarticle, and the previous ones in the series, revocable trusts are powerfultools even for spouses that fall well below certain estate taxation thresholds.However, there are other means to pull one asset or another away from theprobate fires.
The original article has somespecific suggestions worth consideration. If nothing else, itâ€™s worth a read tosee just how many ways there are to plan for certain assets and various littlesteps to take that may provide big rewards.
For more information on this and otherestate planning subjects, contact IdahoEstate Planning and schedule aconsultation. Remember,good planning is no accident.