Probate is a helpful process that ensures the legality of the handling of your estate after your death. However, it can also be an expensive process or at least one that eats into the assets you leave for your heirs.
U.S. News and World Report states that it is important to understand the cost of probate directly relates to the value of your estate. In most situations, the cost will be 3% to 7% of the value of the estate. This money will come out of the estate before the distribution of assets to heirs, so it is helpful to take steps to minimize the expenses.
Reduce estate size
Your first step should be to make your estate as small as possible. There are many options to set things up so that assets will not have to go through probate. For example, use trusts or accounts that have named beneficiaries.
You can also pass assets onto heirs while you are still alive. Consider putting titles in the names of your heirs now. Another option is to spend your money now if you have considerable monetary assets.
Reduce the work
Another reason why probate costs can get out of control is that you will have to pay those people who must do work to finalize your estate. To avoid excessive work, make sure that your estate plan is airtight to avoid contests. Talk with your family now to explain your wishes and fix any problems. Set aside money to pay your debts as well. Tidying things up can make probate go smoothly and quickly, which will save money.