Informed, compassionate and discreet elder law and estate solutions
The Charles Law Offices
Largo Office Wells Fargo Building
801 West Bay Drive, Suite 518
Largo, FL 33770
Phone: 727-683-1483
Toll Free: 866-499-3322
Clearwater Office Hodusa Towers
28870 U.S. Highway 19 North,
Suite 300
Clearwater, FL 33761
St. Petersburg Office Crossroads Office Center
1700 66th St. N.,
Suite 209
St. Petersburg, FL 33710

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What to Know Before Avoiding Probate

Although avoiding probate does have certain advantages, there are some circumstances in which you might actually want your estate to go through this process. If you’re developing your estate plan, speak with your attorney and consider the following:

Benefits of avoiding probate

  • Probate can be a lengthy process. In Florida, it’s somewhat common for probate to take at least one year to come to a close. During this time, your survivors will work with your executor, creditors, beneficiaries and a legal professional to ensure your affairs are handled according to your estate plan. Avoiding probate could mean significantly reducing the amount of time it takes to close your estate.
  • Probate court is public. When you die, the areas of your estate brought to probate court are documented in public record. Some people wish to keep their property, assets, debts and beneficiaries private. Setting up a trust allows you to pass property and assets to heirs in a private manner.

Drawbacks of avoiding probate

  • Trust creation requires an upfront fee. When you work with your attorney to avoid probate through the creation of a trust, there is a fee involved for the legal professional’s experience and service. Creating a trust is typically more expensive than the creation of a standard will. However, the trust could ultimately save money by reducing future expenses associated with the probate process.
  • Probate can regulate family disputes. Probate court ensures that the wishes detailed in your will are carried out. If, after your death, your family disagrees on your estate plan or the division of your assets, the court has the power to step in and settle these issues.

If you would like further guidance on the estate planning process in Florida, call on an experienced lawyer with the Charles Law Offices today.

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