While probate isn’t the horror story some attorneys make it out to be, it is still a long, complex, and often contentious process. In this blog, our Coral Gables estate planning attorneys take a look at four of biggest reasons why you should avoid probate through quality estate planning.
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1. Probate is a Long Process
Depending on the unique characteristics of your estate, including the value and any unusual assets you may have, the probate process can take more than two years to complete. Not only will your family not have access to the assets in your estate during this time, but they will also have to deal with a complex legal situation at a difficult emotional time.
2. Probate Can Be Expensive
There are a number of different parties involved in the probate process, and many of them need to be paid. In addition to attorney’s fees, your family will need to pay for court costs, filing fees, and possibly even an executor of the estate. These costs can add up quickly, but cannot be paid from the estate. This means your family could be left paying for these expenses out of pocket.
3. Probate Eliminates Your Family’s Privacy
Probate is a public process, and as a result much of you and your family’s personal information will be available on public record at the courthouse. Probate court records can include information such as:
- A list of heirs and their addresses
- Your original will
- An estimate of the value of your estate
- Information about your debts
Not only does this impact the privacy of your heirs, but it can also open the door for creditors and criminals to find and harass your family. All of this information can be accessed by anyone by simply contacting the probate court.
4. Probate Can Be Contentious
Probate is often uncontested, with no bickering or battles between heirs. With thorough planning, however, you can reduce the possibility of any conflicts arising. If you pass without a solid estate plan in place, there will likely be plenty of room for disputes that can ruin family relationships.
Want to learn more about how estate planning can benefit you? Contact us for a free initial consultation.