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Estate Planning: Probate
The probate court appoints the executor named in your Will to be responsible for making an inventory of your assets, paying your outstanding debts at death and then distributing the assets remaining in your estate in accordance with the terms of your Will. The probate process can be costly and very time-consuming. The probate process also makes public the identity and value of your assets. It is possible to avoid or reduce the costs of probate by funding your Revocable Trust during your lifetime. The major cost savings that can be accomplished through your Revocable Trust is the avoidance or reduction of probate administration. Probate is the court procedure which oversees the administration of your estate. If title to your assets is changed to your Revocable Trust during your lifetime, then upon your death, the successor trustee appointed under the Revocable Trust has authority to manage and distribute your assets in accordance with the terms of the Revocable Trust without any involvement/interference by the probate court system. Since the assets do not become part of, or pass into, your probate estate, there is no need for probate of assets placed into your Revocable Trust. The successor trustee named in your Revocable Trust has the fiduciary duty to manage and distribute Revocable Trust assets in accordance with the Revocable Trust terms. There is currently no direct probate court supervision of this process, therefore, the process will not be made public.
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