Debunking Common Myths About Wills and Probate
There is a lot of misinformation surrounding the area of estate planning. These myths can make it difficult for the average person seeking legal help to determine what is or is not true.
One of the most common myths is that if a person dies without a will the state will inherit everything. While it is true that a will provides the best understanding of how a person wants their estate distributed, this is not the only way you can ensure your heir inherit. Under Florida law, your property would still be passed to your heirs through a legal process known as intestate succession. The only time your estate would ever escheat to the state is if no heirs could be found.
Another common myth surrounds the process of probate. Many fear that the process will tie up an estate for years. Though probate can be time-consuming, the process generally takes no longer than a few months and rarely more than a year.
Additionally, often people voice concerns that the process of probate will eat up all of the assets of an estate. This is not the case. Probate rarely costs more than 5 percent of an estate. For large estates, this can still be a huge chunk of the assets, but it is never even close to the entire value of the estate. For smaller estates, the costs are often nominal.
Lastly, the oldest children of deceased’s people often think they are required to serve as the executor of their parents’ estate. This is actually not a legal requirement and any child or other relative or friend may just as easily serve as the executor of a person’s estate. In most cases, that person is named in the deceased’s will.
The estate planning process can be complex in certain situations. If you have concerns and questions or need assistance drafting key documents, speak with an experienced lawyer at Charles Law Office in Florida.