Many of us hope to leave something behind for our loved ones when we pass away. 但是遗嘱认证的过程是复杂的. To understand how to better manage potential probate fees, 让我们来探索什么是遗嘱认证，以及这个过程是如何运作的.
Probate is the legal process that wraps up a person’s legal and financial affairs after their death. During the probate process, a person’s property is identified, cataloged, and appraised. In addition, probate makes certain any outstanding 债务 and taxes are paid. It can be a complex process filled with very specific legal requirements.
例如, 如果有人死前没有立有效遗嘱, the probate court sees that the deceased person’s assets are distributed according to the laws of the state.
如果有人死时遗嘱有效, the probate court is charged with ensuring the deceased person’s assets are distributed according to their wishes.
Every estate passes through probate following the owner's death. Probate can take anywhere from a few months to more than a year. 如果有意愿的话, and one or more of the heirs chooses to contest the document, 这个过程可能需要更长的时间.1
遗嘱认证也很昂贵. 尽管在一些州，遗嘱认证费用是有上限的, they can easily cost 3 to 7 percent or more of the estate’s value. That’s calculated on the gross value of the estate – before taxes, 债务, 其他费用也会支付. And if the probate process is challenged, legal costs can rise.2
最后，遗嘱认证在公共法庭进行. That means everything is a matter of public record, so there is no privacy. Anyone can find out exactly what was left behind and how much each of a deceased person’s heirs received. They can also review the court records for the deceased person’s estate. Those who have concerns for their heirs’ privacy may want to take steps to manage the probate process.
Some assets can be structured, so they may not have to go through probate. Here’s a partial list of assets that may avoid the probate process:
3. Death benefits from insurance policies (unless payable to the estate)4
1. TheBalance 2022
2. Investopedia.com, 2021
3. Using a trust involves a complex set of tax rules and regulations. 在开始信托之前, consider working with a professional who is familiar with the rules and regulations.
4. Several factors will affect the cost and availability of life insurance, 包括年龄, 健康状况以及所购买世界杯下注首页的种类和金额. Life insurance policies have expenses, including mortality and other charges. 如果过早放弃一项政策, the policyholder also may pay surrender charges and have income tax implications. You should consider determining whether you are insurable before implementing a strategy involving life insurance. Any guarantees associated with a policy are dependent on the ability of the issuing insurance company to continue making claim payments.
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