When you use a last will to direct the transfer of your assets after your passing the estate must be probated. During this process the probate court supervises the administration of the estate.
The heirs to the estate will not receive their inheritances until this process has run its course. Depending on the specifics of the case in question and the jurisdiction, it can take anywhere from a number of months to multiple years for an estate to be probated.
There can also be considerable expenses that go along with the probate process. There are court costs and fees that must be paid to the executor and the various different professionals that the executor will engage to assist in the administration of the estate.
To avoid the time lag and the expenses that come along with the probate process you could execute a revocable living trust. These trusts facilitate a relatively fast and efficient transfer of assets to your heirs outside of probate.
However, they are not a cure-all for every circumstance. Assets that you place into a revocable living trust are not protected from creditors or claimants.
And, because you are retaining incidents of ownership the assets that you placed into the trust will be countable if you attempt to qualify for Medicaid as a senior citizen who needs living assistance.
While revocable living trusts will deliver asset protection there are other solutions. If you sit down and discuss your unique situation with a good Indianapolis estate planning attorney, your lawyer will gain an understanding of your objectives and make the appropriate recommendations.