If you're in the process of planning your estate, you may be worried about probate. Most people try to avoid probate because it can tie up an estate for a number of years. However, there may be times when probate is actually beneficial. In fact, going into probate can provide the time your beneficiaries will need to help avoid additional problems with your estate. Here are just four of reasons why you shouldn't always avoid probate.

Reduces Issues Involving Creditors

If there is a concern that creditors may come after your estate once you're gone, it may be beneficial to have the probate courts get involved. Probate can reduce issues involving creditors in a couple of different ways. First, probate court creates a time limit that creditors must abide by. Once the time limit has passed, creditors can no longer go after your estate. Second, probate allows your beneficiaries the opportunity to determine the validity of claims that creditors make against your estate. Creditors often go after estates as a way to gain access to funds. Unfortunately, without probate, there's no way to determine if those claims are valid. Probate protects your loved ones from creditor claims.

Allows You to Settle Family Disputes

Your family may be getting along now, but that doesn't mean things will stay the same once you pass away. It's not uncommon for family disputes to arise over estates. Unfortunately, if your estate doesn't go through probate, those family disputes could drag on for years. One of the benefits of probate is that it provides a way to settle disputes in a neutral environment, without allowing emotions to get in the way.

Protects Interest of Minor Children

If you have minor children, probate can be an effective way to protect their interests, especially where the establishment of a legal guardian is concerned. Once you designate a guardian in your will, the court system will automatically recognize that relationship. However, guardianship designations in trusts aren't always so secure. In fact, guardianship status can be argued when a trust is in place. To protect your children, and ensure that your choice of guardian is honored, probate court may be your best option.

Ensures Inclusion of Missing Assets

When you set up a trust, it's possible that you'll forget to list certain assets. If that happens, they may not have the proper beneficiary designations. By allowing your estate to proceed through probate court, the assets can be divided properly among your surviving family members.