The Pitfalls of Probate
A lot of people equate the process of estate planning to the execution of a last will. While it is true that
you can choose to use a last will as your primary vehicle of asset transfer and a lot of people do, it is
not always the best choice. If you go this route your estate is going to have to pass through the process
of probate, and there are certain pitfalls that go along with this process that make probate avoidance
strategies preferable to many.
What are these pitfalls? For the most part they are threefold. For one, probate is a public proceeding
that provides a forum for disgruntled individuals who may want to challenge your wishes. There are
those who would prefer that their final affairs remain private and cloaked from prying eyes, and of
course people don't want to see their wishes challenged.
Secondly, there are some significant costs that go along with the probate process. The executor or
personal representative will do the hands-on tasks involved in administering the estate, and he or she is
entitled to remuneration for his or her time and effort. The executor will have to bring in a probate
attorney and in many cases an accountant, an appraiser, and an estate liquidation company. Of course
all this professional assistance comes with a price tag.
And finally, the process of probate takes a lot of time to run its course. For example, the Anna Nicole
Smith case was recently resolved after over 15 years. And even in simple cases it can take upwards of a
year for an estate to be probated and closed, and the heirs to the estate do not receive their inheritances
while it is held up in probate.
Probate does indeed have its pitfalls, but it can be avoided if you take the correct steps in advance. If
you would like to explore the probate avoidance strategies that are available to you, simply take a
moment to pick up the phone and arrange for a consultation with an experienced Campbell, California
estate planning attorney.
Experienced estate planning attorneys Campbell CA of the Law Office of Roy W. Litherland offers
estate planning and business planning resources to residents of Campbell CA. To learn more about
these free resources, please visit www.attorneyoffice.com/ today.