When you are looking into the details surrounding the process of estate planning you will hear probate mentioned a lot. Probate is the legal process that an estate must pass through unless you take overt and intentional steps to avoid it. The reasons why someone might want to implement probate avoidance strategies would be because the process is time consuming and it can be expensive.
Depending on the specifics of your estate probate avoidance can sometimes be the more efficient route. However, when an estate passes through probate its administration is supervised by the probate or surrogate court that is local to the deceased. Because of this the process is transparent to all interested parties, and this can be very appealing to some people.
If your estate is going through pass through probate you will have to name an executor or personal representative in your will. This individual would be charged with the responsibility of doing the legwork that is necessary to carry our your wishes. The tasks that the executor would be faced with include satisfying any claims against the estate, paying final taxes, and preparing the assets for distribution.
These preparations could include appraisals and liquidations that require the assistance of paid professionals. The executor will also have to retain the services of an experienced probate attorney, especially if this person has no experience with the probate process.
Because of all that is involved many people will choose to name an experienced professional entity to act as executor. This can often times be the trust department of a bank, but some lawyers and accountants are willing to act as paid executors as well. Since the task is so specialized and time consuming, arranging for a professional to act as the executor of your estate may be the most effective and cost efficient course of action in many cases.