Planning ahead for probate fees can save your family a great deal of time, money and headache. Learn about probate and the ways you can avoid some of the problems associated with it.The probate process is a legal process related to distributing your assets based upon the terms included in your will. It is important for you to understand this concept for the benefit of your beneficiaries. It is also important that your parents and other members of your family also understand the potential problems they could be helping to avoid.
1What Is Probate of a Will?
The probate process can be long, complicated and very confusing, but we are going to help you gain a better understanding of it.
Think about the probate process as having two separate pieces.
- Paying off any debts that you owe
- Transferring any remaining assets to your beneficiaries, as determined by your will
2Four Main Steps in Probate
Probate courts are not federal courts, which mean they don’t have a standard set of guidelines that must be followed. However, there are four general steps that are usually included in the probate process, regardless of where it takes place.
- The Executor is sworn in
- Notification of death is made to your creditors, heirs, etc
- Inventory is taken of your property, assets and debts
- Your assets and estate are distributed (after your debts are paid)
3How Much Does Probate Cost?
The costs involved in probating an estate can quickly add up to a substantial amount. Costs are different in different locations, but they typically range between 0.5% - 2% of the value of the entire estate.
Other costs typically added to increase the cost of probate include:
- Attorney fees
- Executor fees
- Estate taxes
4How Long Does Probate Take?
Most people are interested in the question “how long does probate take”? The answer is that it depends upon the size and complexity of your estate. The best way to ensure the process is as quick and easy as possible is to have a legal will. This is one of the many reasons that you (and everyone else in your extended family) should make creating a will a priority.
If there aren’t complications, it usually takes over a year to settle all aspects of your probate. However, complicated estates can last for decades as they work through the court system.
5Can You Avoid Probate?
When looking at the fees associated with probate, it is easy to see why people are interested in finding ways to avoid it.
The process is lengthy and can be very costly.
However, there are many factors to consider when trying to avoid future probate costs.
These include family relationships and tax implications, etc. There will also likely be costs associated with trying...