Myth 1: Probate will take years and cost a lot of money.
While there are some probate cases that do end up taking a lot of time and money, the vast majority are simple affairs that proceed smoothly and efficiently through the courts. Also, there are more than one type of probate proceeding, and all states allow for at least one type of simplified or summary probate. If you’re worried about probate taking a long time or a lot of money, you can take steps to simplify your estate so you minimize what goes through probate.
Myth 2: Everything I own will have to go through probate.
Some of your property does not have to go through probate before new owners can have it. If, for example, you have a transfer-on-death bank account, or a bank account owned in joint tenancy with a right of survivorship, this property is not typically subject to probate transfer. You may also try to avoid probate by transferring your property to various kinds of trusts.
Myth 3: Your executor will have power to do anything he wants.
While your executor or estate administratorthe person who handles your property after you diehas a lot of power, one thing that is a definite no-no is the executor using his position for his own benefit. Executors are fiduciaries, meaning they have a legal duty to do what is in your estate’s best interests. They have very specific rules they have to follow, and if they don’t, they can get into a lot of trouble.