There are some things that you should understand when you get serious about planning your estate. Probate is one of them.
What Is It?
Probate is the legal process of estate administration. Your last will is not read in a vacuum. If you use a last will to arrange for the distribution of your personally owned property, the estate must be probated before the heirs receive their inheritances.
The executor that you nominate admits the will to the probate court. The court supervises the administration of the estate.
Does It Cost Anything?
There can be significant costs that often go along with the probate process. First of all, there is a filing fee that the court is going to charge. The executor that is going to handle the estate administration tasks is entitled to remuneration for his or her time and trouble.
Your executor is typically going to engage the services of various different professionals. Because probate is a legal process, the executor will usually need a probate attorney.
The executor must pay final taxes on behalf of the estate. To make sure that everything is done optimally a tax accountant may be necessary.
Property liquidation is often a factor, so there can be liquidation expenses. To determine the value of property, an appraiser or appraisers may be necessary.
All of the entities mentioned above are going to charge for their services.
Ultimately, probate costs can consume a noticeable percentage of the estate. As money is being spent during probate, the amount that will be left for the heirs is being reduced.
Can Probate Be Avoided?
You may wonder if it is possible to avoid probate in an effort to avoid these expenses. The answer is yes, probate can in fact be avoided.
There are a number of different ways that you can avoid probate. We will be discussing the topic of probate avoidance strategies in future posts.
Probate Does Provide Protections
While there is nothing wrong with choosing to avoid probate, it is not necessarily something that should be avoided like the plague.
Depending on the nature of your estate probate may not present much of a problem, and it does provide certain protections. In some simple cases the expenses can be minimal. Many states have taken steps in recent years to streamline the probate process.
Our firm has put together a valuable free report that covers the process of probate in detail. We are currently offering access to this report free of charge to our readers.
If you would like to learn about probate in-depth, take advantage of this opportunity. You can gain access to your version of the report by clicking this link and following the simple instructions: Free Probate Report.