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Probate Administration

Understanding Probate

Probate refers to the court process of resolving the affairs of a deceased person’s estate. Typically, the courts get involved when a person dies without a Will OR when a person dies with a Will but no trust.

The main purposes of the probate process are to:

  1. Validate the Will
  2. Document and value the estate property
  3. Pay debts and taxes
  4. Distribute the remaining proceeds to beneficiaries

Drawbacks of Probate

There are several major reasons why avoiding the probate process is desirable. First, a Will must be published with the court as part of validating the Will. This filing makes the contents of your personal estate, names of the beneficiaries, and the amount of their inheritances a public record. Most people prefer to keep these details private. Second, probate is expensive. Fees paid to Attorneys and Personal Representatives for wrapping up the estate are set by statute and are based on the gross value of the estate. Third, the probate court process takes time. Finalizing a person’s estate typically takes 6-8 months but it sometimes takes longer. This is valuable time that the estate’s beneficiaries will have to wait in order to receive their inheritance.

A common solution to avoiding probate is to set up a Revocable Living Trust. Assets placed into a valid trust are excluded from probate and the details in the trust remain private. By spending the time and effort today to set up the Revocable Living Trust, you can avoid the time and expense of probate and maintain your privacy.

Probate Administration

Should you find yourself in need of probate assistance, we can help. Each probate case is unique so it is hard to determine how long your particular case may take to complete. Usually, a probate case takes between 6-8 months but they often can last years. You can reduce the time a probate takes by ensuring that all of your paperwork is in order and minimizing disputes among beneficiaries. Legal counsel from a skilled probate lawyer may be the assistance you need to have a probate case resolved as swiftly as possible.

Contact my office to learn more about Probate Administration.

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