When someone sits down to plan their estate, one of their goals could be to avoid probate proceedings. Most people have heard at least one horror story of an estate that spent months if not several years going through multiple challenges in the probate courts.
Although probate administration can reduce conflict and prevent fraudulent activity, it can also diminish the legacy of the testator. It takes more consideration and possibly more upfront investment to create an estate plan that allows you to bypass probate. You may need to transfer how you hold certain property, like your home. You might even need to create a trust.
Those extra investments may seem expensive, but they will actually save you a significant amount of money when compared with the cost of going through the Nevada probate courts.
Probate court can significantly diminish your legacy
The assets that you leave behind for loved ones, family members and even charities will strongly affect how people remember you after you die. Trying to maximize what you leave behind and allocate your assets to the most deserving and precious people and causes can impact the kind of legacy you leave.
Unfortunately, if your estate winds up going through probate courts, some of the assets that you want to give to loved ones or donate to charity will get consumed by that process. Every probate case is unique, but the average estate will decrease by between 4% and 7% due to probate costs.
If there is a challenge by a family member, that could extend probate proceedings and increase how much the process costs. If a challenge is successful, your estate may also have to pay for the challenger’s attorney costs, which could add several more percentage points to the total cost of probate for your estate.
Careful planning can limit the losses from your estate
You know your property and family better than anyone else. You can probably predict which of your family members might challenge your last wishes and what assets might become the focus of a disagreement.
Addressing those assets carefully, explaining your wishes to your family before you die and possibly strengthening your estate plan with a trust are all ways to reduce how much you lose to probate proceedings after you die.