Most people know that to have a valid will, you must also name an executor to actually handle the distribution of assets to the respective heirs. But what you may not know is that this executor doesn’t act in a vacuum.
Instead, this distribution of assets is overseen by the court using a process called probate and while it’s intended to protect the estate and honor the wishes of the deceased, it does come with a few pitfalls. Here’s the top three reasons you might want to avoid probate:
Depending on the estate, probate can be expensive. There are legal and accounting fees, court costs and of course, some sort of remuneration to the executor. If the estate is complex, these expenses can grow and potentially consume a significant portion of the value of the estate.
The heirs to the estate do not receive their inheritances until the estate has been probated and closed. There are variables involved, but it can take a number of months – even years – depending on the situation.
Probate is a public proceeding, and anyone who is interested can access probate records to find out exactly what you owned and how your final affairs were administered. This strips the family of privacy and can also leave grieving family members susceptible to would-be con artists looking for a quick payday.
Fortunately, there are ways to avoid probate and still protect your assets and your loved ones. If you’d like to explore your options, contact our firm for a free consultation. You can request an appointment by clicking this link: Free Estate Planning Consultation
Author, President and Founding Attorney
Parman & Easterday