probate court

What is Probate Court and Why Do I Want to Avoid It?

In How Do You Choose an Executor of a Will? by casalmorenoblog

Our own mortality isn’t something any of us like to think about. Sitting around the dinner table, looking at the smiling faces of your loved ones makes you think There’s no way I could ever leave them. Although we wish we could help you live forever, we can’t. But what we can do is help to set you up so those loving family members can avoid probate court. Why do they want to avoid court? There are many reasons. Here are a few:

Privacy

When going through probate, all information is available to the public. Open and available for anyone who wants to look into it. This includes your financials, information on family members, and addresses. If anyone wants to gain this information, all they need to do is go to a courthouse and ask. And as most information is stored online today, this sensitive information is even easier to access.

Fees

The probate court is operated by the state and therefore requires state workers to be involved. With their involvement comes the need to pay them. Court fees begin to pile up during the lengthy process. If you’ve been saving money or assets to hand down to your loved ones in the event you pass, you certainly weren’t expecting Uncle Sam to keep reaching into that basket. Of course, there will be taxes taken out, but with the probate process, the chunks taken out of your estate will keep growing.

Time…lots of it

As with any government process, probate court is lengthy. If you have a will in place when you pass away, you could be sparing your family additional grief. When you pass, they will surely grieve. With a will in place, your assets will be distributed quickly. But the probate court process isn’t as simple. In fact, an average probate court case in Florida takes six months.

Broken Relationships

Those smiling loved ones sitting around your dinner table? They’ll rely on each other during the hard times after you pass. And that thought puts your mind at ease, doesn’t it?

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but many probate court cases cause tension between family members. If a clear will is not in place, your asset distribution is in the hands of whichever state that you reside in, and your family has no say. With these assets up in the air, basically unclaimed, family members tend to get combative with one another while trying to state their case as the rightful heir. It’s unfortunate, but many relationships become tarnished during this process.

Avoid Probate Court and Plan Now

Estate planning is vital if you want to avoid the probate court procedure for the reasons listed above. To ensure your assets are properly and quickly distributed, start planning now.

Not sure where to begin? Give us a call and let us walk you through the steps of ensuring your loved ones can avoid probate court.