Advantages of Probate


Hi, Lee Phillips here. I’m an attorney and I want to talk to you for two seconds about the advantages of probate. You’re going to go, “I don’t want probate.” Well, there are actually advantages to probate. And I have probated family members’ estates even though I know how to avoid probate, we still have gone through the probate proceeding. For example, grandpa he had a trust, he had everything, we shouldn’t go through probate at all. No problem. Grandpa is driving down the street high noon He has a lady in the car with him; they’re going to bowling and they’re both over 90 but they were going bowling. And a couple of drag racers on the other side of the divided highway decided that they were going to crash. They came over the divided highway they caught grandpa head-on and they killed the lady out right grandpa died a day or two later in the hospital. I probated grandpa’s estate. Why? Because I didn’t want to wait for the entire period to see if the lady–her family–was going to sue
grandpa’s estate. If I go through probate I do the formal probate and there are different types of probate,
informal, formal, exemption, and you know different types of probate but if you do the formal probate, when that gavel falls in the probate nobody can ever come back and sue grandpa’s estate. So it’s a way engineers, architects, these type of people you will often probate their estate just have most of it in the living trust and then and just probate a little bit of it. Don’t tie up all the assets but probate a piece of the estate go through the process and that cuts off any future creditors or any future lawsuits or any future problems. It’s a way of clearing title. When the court gives title to the new guy through the probate proceeding then we know that it’s a good title. So if I’ve got a title that’s a little shady I can take it through the probate proceeding and when it comes out of the probate good title. So there are lots of reasons that I might want to go through probate. We smoke out dad’s creditors. If the creditor doesn’t stand up make his claim before the probate’s through he kisses it off. He’s through. He can’t come back
and claim that dad owed him money. So we eliminate creditors. We eliminate lawsuits. We clear title. If we know that somebody in the family is going to have a problem with us then we can go through the probate process the court can get involved if there is a problem if there isn’t a problem then that person is cut off. After the probate proceeding they can’t come back and make a claim against dad’s estate. So don’t just totally dismiss probate. But if dad doesn’t owe anybody money, he’s never had a credit card all we have to do to get into his bank accounts and sell his house after he dies, we don’t want to go through probate. Use the living revocable trust to do that. Do not use joint tenancy. There’s a bunch of problems associated with that. Do not have dad give you the title of the house
in advance. That’s a mistake. So there are lots of issues. Use the trust. Put the property in the trust. It will avoid probate when dad dies. Unless there’s a reason to go through probate, don’t do it. This is Lee Phillips talking on advantages to probate.

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