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Probate can be clean and easy, or it can be really messy and delayed. Depends on a lot of factors.

We set up a trust to avoid that, among other things. No one can touch the money that we haven't approved to touch the money. We only have 1poorkid, so everything goes to her. Not that we have family issues, as others seem to have. Her only aunt would be concerned for 1poorkid's wellbeing over her own, so not a problem. Everything beyond that are cousins, and most of them are good (and would have no claim regardless).

So 1poorkid can take over immediately and start paying bills generated by the estate (taxes, utilities, whatever). She is as responsible as one would expect of a 20-something, so no concern there. Avoiding probate just makes it easier for her. We set it up when she was a teen (yeah, we were late to the party), and specified people we trusted to administer it for her needs.

But as I understand it, if you miscreant relatives and friends, a trust assures they can't get their grubby paws on it. As mentioned in this thread, wills can be contested and draw out probate. Trusts pretty much can't.
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