Did you know that upon death any assets held in only the name of the decedent must go through a probate process which turns the property over to the court system for final outcome. The ways to avoid probate cost are (1) to have joint ownership of the property, (2) beneficiary designations, or (3) have all property owned by a trust.

Reasons to avoid probate include (1) costs of probate can be great, (2) probate information is open to the public, (3) court system controls who those assets are transferred to.

Going through the probate process puts creditors on a time limit  for collecting or arranging collection on those estate liabilities.  When going through this process, the probate court uses the will in determining the decedent’s wishes for their asset disposition.  If there is no will, the state law determines that disposition.