Dispelling Four Myths of the Probate Process for Your Estate

One aspect of estate planning that frequently gets frowned upon by some estate planning attorneys and families alike is the probate process. People have a bad purview of probate as it pertains to their estate or the estate of a loved one that will need to go through the process.

In reality, there are some elements of this that can be daunting or difficult, but probate itself is not inherently negative. There is a purpose behind putting an estate or estate assets through probate court, so it’s better to be prepared for the reality as opposed to some of the myths that give it a bad name.

Myth: Probate Will Take Years to Sort Through

Truth: Probate Timelines Vary But Effective Planning Shortens the Process

Much of the dread surrounding probate revolves around timing. People don’t want to sit in a courtroom or attend several hearings just to determine the validity of an estate and how the assets will be managed/distributed.

Ultimately, effective estate planning will be the surest pathway to an efficient and quick resolution. The more thorough your plan the less time the court will need to sift through and verify the details after your death. This saves significant time and effort for your loved ones who will appreciate your careful consideration.

While we can’t commit to a timeline for your probate case as it varies based on the details and size of an estate, through effective planning our team can help shorten that timeframe.

Myth: All Trusts Automatically Avoid Probate

Truth: Properly Established and Funded Trusts Avoid Probate

Everywhere you read on the internet will tell you that wills head to probate while trusts keep those assets out of probate. There is some accuracy in that statement, but the truth is a step outside of what you’ve read.

A trust is only as good as the attention to detail it has been given. Your trust must first be properly established and then properly funded. Properly “funding” a trust does not mean putting money into it but transferring the assets detailed within the trust into the trust itself. If you have a trust to govern a titled asset then the title needs to be transferred into the trust.

A failure to properly establish and fund a trust will likely result in all of the assets within being exposed to the probate process.

Myth: Probate Will Drain the Value of the Estate

Truth: Estates of All Sizes Can Retain Most of Their Value Through the Process

Months of court appearances and debates over the execution of an estate might feel costly, but the process itself should not be all that expensive. Your greater expense may be your attorney if you fail to select one that has you and the estate’s best interests at heart.

Probate should not cost more than a few thousand dollars, but there are parts of the process that can cost much more. For instance, creditors will be given an opportunity to claim the debts owed by the decedent during probate which may drain a significant portion of the estate’s value.

However, if debts are properly handled and an effective estate plan kept the larger, more expensive assets out of probate then this should be an affordable and straightforward process.

Myth: I Can Handle Probate On My Own

Truth: Hire the Law Office of Ray Garcia

Even the most knowledgeable individuals can get tripped up by the probate process. Attempting to navigate this all on your own can result in significant legal and financial consequences. An experienced probate attorney can make this process easier and give you and your loved ones peace of mind.

Contact The Law Office of Ray Garcia for a thorough estate plan or to receive proper representation through the probate process.

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Law Office of Ray Garcia, P.A.

Our mission is to provide our clients with legal services that not only meet their needs but exceed their expectations. We approach all practice areas with care, knowledge, experience, and determination. Trusted In South Florida For Decades.

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