Probate Planning & Protection
Probate can be frustrating. It is the court process through which an estate is divided among creditors and heirs when someone passes away. This process can be long and costly, but can be completely avoided with the right planning and attorneys involved.
How do you end up in Probate?
Not everyone’s estate requires probate, but there are two ways to end up there. The first route is to do nothing. If you pass away with assets in your name and no planning, those assets will have to go through probate. The second route is to rely on a will. Many people mistakenly believe that a will avoids probate. The opposite is true. ALL WILLS REQUIRE PROBATE. And this probate process often takes a full year or more to complete. So, you need to have more planning than just a will to avoid what can be an expensive and stressful process.
How much does Probate cost?
Costs vary based on where you live. Every county has their own fee schedule providing guidelines for what attorneys may charge to probate an estate. Costs often range between 5-10% of the value of the estate. Unless you involve the right attorneys during your lifetime, this large unexpected expense can squander a lot of your estate.
There are many ways a good estate planning and elder care law attorney can help families avoid the unwanted probate process. Utilizing trusts, beneficiary designations, deeds and various other tools, AlerStallings attorneys make sure your estate stays out of this court process. We do so by providing maintenance and support. Unlike other firms that simply draft documents, AlerStallings conducts annual complimentary meetings with our clients to make sure that any new assets also avoid probate. Did your previous attorney offer complimentary lifetime support? It’s often overlooked, but maintenance and support is crucial to make sure your family avoids the dreaded probate process.