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Avoiding Probate | It Isn’t All Black or White

by Legacy Plan Oct 19, 2017

Summary: Very few things in life, or the law, are completely black and white. Most things are shades of gray. The correct answer to many legal questions is, “It depends.” This also holds true when it comes to avoiding probate. Not everyone needs to plan to avoid probate as part of their estate planning (although a great many can potentially benefit from such probate-avoidance planning). Which group you belong in is something you must decide, ideally in conjunction with the advice and counsel of an experienced estate planning attorney. 

In the third “Episode” of the famed “Star Wars” movie series, one of the movie’s protagonists, Obi-Wan Kenobi, instructs that, “Only a Sith deals in absolutes.” (The Siths are the movie’s evil antagonists). The point of this statement is that almost all of the world is a series of shades of gray; very little is black or white. Anyone who speaks only in terms of absolute black or white either is being disingenuous, at the very least, is misinformed.

Plan your estate words with hand pointing at it

Estate planning can be like this. If you research estate planning, you’ll come across a lot about avoiding probate. Some of that information will try to tell you that everyone is better off avoiding probate. While an awful lot of people can, indeed, benefit from the costs and delays that can be associated with certain types of probate administration procedures, that is not an absolute black or white thing. There are some situations where having your estate go through probate is better for you than avoiding it. Here’s a list of a few examples:

As you can tell from these descriptions, these are all relatively specific situations. A great many people are outside all of these groups and can potentially benefit from avoiding probate with estate plans that include living trusts. The key thing to remember is that none of this is black or white. That is why you need an experienced estate planning attorney who can put his/her knowledge and skill to use for you and advise on what path makes the most sense for your circumstances.

This article is published by the Legacy Assurance Plan and is intended for general informational purposes only. Some information may not apply to your situation. It does not, nor is it intended, to constitute legal advice. You should consult with an attorney regarding any specific questions about probate, living probate or other estate planning matters. Legacy Assurance Plan is an estate planning services-company and is not a lawyer or law firm and is not engaged in the practice of law. For more information about this and other estate planning matters visit our website at

This article published by:
Legacy Assurance Plan
8039 Cooper Creek Blvd
University Park, Florida 34201
844.306.5272 (Phone) (email)

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