People who face time shares and probate issues have the trouble of deciding what will happen to the property. For those who do not know, probate is the legal process of transferring the property of a person upon their death. Time shares and probate costs a lot of time and money.
Time shares and probate are usually not a problem especially when the deceased left a will that will be executed by the family’s lawyer. Squabbles of time share properties can happen which is why it is advisable to include the time shares and probate while doing your estate planning.
What happens to the time shares during probate? The probate process can be contested or uncontested. Most issues arise within the time shares and probate process because a disgruntled heir wants a bigger share of the deceased’s property than that he or she initially received.
Arguments most often raised include: the deceased being improperly influenced in making the gifts, the deceased did not know or was not aware of what they were doing when the will was executed, and the deceased did not follow the legal formalities in drafting the will. The majority of time shares and probate estates are uncontested.
The basic process of transferring an estate includes:
· Collecting all the property of the deceased;
· Paying all claims, debts and taxes owed by its estate;
· Collecting all rights to dividends, income, etc.;
· Settling any disputes; and lastly,
· Distributing the remaining property to the heirs.
Usually, the deceased names a person (executor) to handle the management of his/her affairs upon death. If the deceased fails to name one, an appointment by the court will occur such as a personal representative or administrator, to settle the will and estate.
There are three common estate-planning tools that can be utilized to avoid time shares and probate in the distribution of the person’s property at death: joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, revocable trusts and beneficiary designations. Joint tenancy applies to all property types except retirement plans. Revocable trusts can be used with all types of property. Beneficiary designations are for life insurance policies, individual retirement accounts and retirement plans.
At this point, time shares and probate can be planned with these three tools in mind. In the absence of a will, the best device to solve time shares and probate issues is the through a revocable trust. Revocable trusts or sometimes called “living trusts” have the following advantages over wills:
– Privacy. Financial affairs and to whom the property is given are private. Wills and inventories of probate estates are a public record.
-Cost Savings. The trustee only ahs to continue the deceased’s financial obligatios to the assets, thus eliminating time shares and probate expenses.
-Convenience. A revocable trust makes it easier to pass time shares and probate properties to the trustee.
– Continuity. Revocable trusts serve as an extention of the deceased as he gives the responsibilities to the trustee after death to pay the bills, pay taxes, and to manage the time shares and probate and distribute assets immediately.
-Stability. Revocable trusts normally do not need to be changed because of moving to another estate.
-Security. Revocable trusts are more difficult to be legally contested after death especially for time shares and probate properties.
Whether a will or a revocable trust is chosen to settle time shares and probate properties, consideration must be given to the executor of the will as well as to the alternate executors. The same consideration goes with respect to the initial trustee and successor trustees for the time shares and probate.
A deceased may wish to appoint to handle time shares and probate more than one successor trustee or executor and also the successor trustee and executor can be an individual or corporate entities like a bank trust department.
To avoid conflicts in time shares and probate, normally it is advised that the successor trustees and executors be the same person. A good estate plan should be able to distribute the property to whoever the testator wishes and when the testator wishes, with a minimum amount of income, estate, and inheritance taxes and lowest possible lawyer’s fees and other costs. Avoiding time shares and probate can be a big relief to the deceased and their family.