Q: Good morning! Question about whether a decedent's Will designating a trustee is sufficient to avoid probate.
We have been told my mother's Will designating me as trustee and personal representative, is not sufficient to avoid probate. The will drawn up in Nebraska, states "...my personal representative shall have all of the powers conferred on trustees under the Nebraska Trustees Powers Act.... I hereby grant to my personal representative full power to sell or otherwise dispose of estate assets, real, personal or otherwise, without court authorization..." This sounds like language created to specifically avoid the probate process. Can you let me know if this is true? or do we still have to have court approval. We understand we can use the statutes "Independent Administration of Estates Act" and the Set Aside Without Administration process as the profit will be less than 100K to help this move quickly but other than this, let me know if the language of the Will might help us avoid probate altogether. Thank you.
A: Where there's a will, there's probate, period. Probate is how wills are administered. If you want to avoid probate, then you should create a trust-based estate plan. Trusts are administered with no court involvement unless someone sues to set aside or void or contest the trust.
Sometimes if an estate is small enough, the probate process is greatly simplified, but it's still probate.
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