What is Probate and Why Does Everyone Want to Avoid It?
Probate is the process a will undergoes after a person dies. In these situations, a person’s will is submitted to a probate court along with a summary of the estate’s assets and debts. A personal representative is appointed and the court assists in making sure all debts are paid and assets are distributed properly before an estate is closed. The legal formality of it ensures that the estate is properly supervised and handled and that assets are legally distributed.
There are, however, a number of downsides, and as a result, many people wish to bypass the probate process altogether through sound estate planning practices.
One of the main reasons people seek to avoid probate is because it can be extremely time-consuming. The probate process often requires several months and can take upwards of a year. During this time, all property of the estate is tied up and beneficiaries are unable to take legal control of these assets. For beneficiaries who need these assets in an expeditious manner, this can be especially frustrating.
The other reason many want to avoid probate is due to the cost involved. Between court and attorneys fees, a sizeable percentage of the estate can get swallowed. This is especially threatening to large estates. If, for instance, an estate was valued near $400,000, attorney’s fees could easily add up to $20,000. This is much more than many people care to lose to the process.
To learn about how you can avoid the probate process through alternative estate documents, work with the knowledgeable estate planning attorneys at Charles Law Office in Florida.