Probate is the court-supervised process when someone dies and they have a Will or they've died and left no Will at all. The process includes locating, valuing, and distributing a decedent's assets. It also includes seeing that bills and taxes are paid. The process can take years before anything will trickle down to the final beneficiaries.
With probate you get:
- legal fees (a percentage of the fair market value of the estate, aka a lot of $$$)
- executor fees
- Superior Court dates
- 6 months to 2 years of the process
- your estate, including assets, debts, and beneficiaries becoming public record
- loss of control of how your estate is divided. A judge decides what is best for your family.
Setting up an estate plan will help to ensure that your estate will be divided the way you see fit for your family.
Your estate plan will spell out who gets what and how they get it, and will also help to avoid the delay and added expenses of a probate.