Probate is a legal process that takes place after a person dies, during which the court oversees the distribution of the deceased person’s assets to their heirs or beneficiaries.
At Carlin Law, we handle many probate cases every year, but look to minimize costs and avoids probate where possible.
While probate can serve an important purpose in resolving disputes and ensuring that assets are distributed according to the law, there are several reasons why you may want to avoid it:
- Time-consuming: Probate can be a lengthy process, sometimes taking months or even years to resolve. This can delay the distribution of assets to heirs or beneficiaries and tie up the estate in legal proceedings.
- Expensive: Probate can be costly, with court fees, legal fees, and other expenses associated with the process. These costs can eat into the value of the estate and reduce the amount that heirs or beneficiaries ultimately receive.
- Public: Probate is a public process, meaning the details of the deceased person’s assets and debts become public record. This can compromise privacy and potentially expose sensitive information to the public.
- Lack of control: Probate is overseen by the court, which means the final distribution of assets may not be in line with the deceased person’s wishes or intentions. By avoiding probate, individuals can maintain greater control over the distribution of their assets and ensure that their wishes are carried out.
Overall, avoiding probate can save time, money, and stress for both the deceased person’s estate and their heirs or beneficiaries. By working with an experienced estate planning attorney, you can explore the options for avoiding probate and creating a plan that meets their unique needs and goals.
Timeframe of a Probate Case
Probate cases take on average 10-14 months from the start of the action to the closure of the Estate. Unfortunately, some cases last even longer, and can take multiple years before closure.
Cost of a Probate Case
Probate expenses vary, depending on the complexities of the Estate and the dynamics of the family, but many attorneys estimate the cost of probate to be an average range of four to seven percent of the gross estate (4 – 7%).
With a decent and professionally drafted Will, the cost is usually close to the 4% range. With no Will, a self-made Will, or a Will that was found on the internet, final probate costs are typically in the 7% or higher range, due to the complexities involved with processing and closing the estate out.
Gross Estate includes the value of all real estate, personal property, financial accounts, and any other assets that the person owned or had an interest in (not accounting for mortgages, liens, or other debts).
Proper estate planning can prevent these expenses and delays.