What’s so bad about probate?

Probate is the legal process of administering a deceased person’s estate, including distributing their assets and paying any debts and taxes. While probate is a necessary step in the transfer of a deceased person’s assets, it can also have several negative consequences.

  1. Time-consuming: Probate can take a significant amount of time to complete, often taking several months or even years. This can delay the distribution of assets to beneficiaries and create uncertainty and stress for families during an already difficult time.

  2. Costly: Probate can also be costly, with fees for court costs, attorneys, and executors adding up quickly. These costs can eat into the value of the estate, reducing the amount that beneficiaries receive.

  3. Public: Probate proceedings are public, which means that anyone can access information about the estate and the deceased person’s assets. This can be concerning for some people, especially if they want to keep their affairs private.

  4. Inflexible: Probate is a court-supervised process, which means that it follows strict rules and procedures. This can make it difficult to make changes or adaptations if circumstances change or if mistakes are made.

  5. Potential for disputes: Probate can also lead to disputes between beneficiaries or between beneficiaries and the executor. These disputes can be expensive and time-consuming to resolve, and can damage relationships within families.

Overall, probate can be a long, expensive, and stressful process that can cause difficulties for families during a difficult time. Fortunately it is possible to avoid through proper estate planning strategies. However, not all probate avoidance strategies are alike. it’s important to work with an attorney who has experience and to whom other attorneys look for advice to ensure that these strategies are set up correctly and that the individual’s wishes are honored.