Typically, estate probate cases are a straightforward procedure, especially when an experienced attorney handles the probate. It does get more complicated if a beneficiary contests the Will.
Although the legal aspects of probate are not complicated, probate can be an emotionally taxing and lengthy process your loved ones must endure during an already difficult time in their lives.
Some of the most common questions people ask include:
Q. How long do probate proceedings take?
A. Although all probate proceedings are different, the average length of time probate proceedings take is about one year. It can take nearly two months just to gather information and commence proceedings.
Q. Where does debt fit into probate?
A. When an estate proceeds to probate, all of the deceased’s creditors are notified and they have a specified number of days (which varies from state to state) to file a claim against the estate.
Q. What is the cost of probate?
A. This is one of the most frequent questions. Generally, probate proceedings can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to several tens of thousands, dependent on the value of the estate.
Q. How can you avoid probate?
A. There are certain assets automatically excluded from probate, such as life insurance, retirement accounts and bank accounts with a named beneficiary. Real estate with joint ownership may also avoid probate. Assets held in a Living Trust bypass probate.
If you wish to spare your beneficiaries the necessity of probate, an estate attorney can help you establish an estate plan to achieve this goal.