There is a great deal to take into consideration when you are devising your estate plan. It can seem as though you simply carve out slices of a pie in writing when you create a last will, but the process of probate will come into play if you use a will to transfer personally held property.
During probate there is a proving of the will. The probate court examines the will to make sure that it is valid in the eyes of the law, and arguments could be presented during probate if anyone wanted to challenge the validity of the will.
Final debts must be paid during probate, so creditors are given a certain amount of time to come forward. Ultimately, if everything is in order, the executor or personal representative will prepare the assets for distribution to the heirs.
The cost of probate can be considerable. There are various different expenses that will typically accumulate during probate, and you should be aware of them when you are planning your estate.
What are these expenses? Let’s look at the laundry list. For one, the court itself will charge a filing fee, and the executor is entitled to payment for his or her time and effort.
As we have previously touched upon, final debts must be paid during probate, and this would include taxes. In many cases, the executor will call in an accountant to assist, and this will add to the debit ledger.
Since probate is a legal process, a probate attorney may be retained, and there could be appraisal and liquidation expenses when property is being prepared for distribution. There can also be additional miscellaneous expenses incurred during the administration of the estate.
The exact extent of the probate costs will vary depending upon the circumstances, but in many cases, a noticeable portion of the estate can be absorbed during the probate process. Money that is spent during probate would have otherwise gone to the heirs, so this can be a source of concern.
There are various different strategies that can be implemented if you would prefer to facilitate asset transfers outside of probate to avoid these costs. To explore your options with regard to probate avoidance strategies, you may want to schedule a consultation with a licensed estate planning attorney.
Download Our Free Probate Report
Our firm has prepared a comprehensive, in-depth report on the probate process, and you would do well to digest this information before you make any final estate planning decisions. The special report is being offered free of charge at the present time, so there are no risks involved.
To obtain your copy of the complimentary report, visit this page and follow the simple instructions: Free Report on the Probate Process.