You may have heard your family members say that it is best to avoid probate. You may agree wholeheartedly without really knowing the real reason for it. Well, to put it in simple terms, the main reason to avoid probate is that it is a long-drawn process, causing the property to be tied up in legal wrangles for months. Usually, it takes over a year to establish ownership through probate. The second and equally important reason is the cost of the process. Probate is expensive and if you happen to live in states where the law deems that you pay the probate attorney 3% of the estate’s value, you will be paying quite a bit if the estate is of high value.
Understanding the Probate Process
During probate, typically there is no argument or debates between lawyers. Instead, the entire process is usually clerical as family members are not contesting estate’s ownership. So, your probate attorney will not perform any legal research or draft documents. Instead, they will be occupied filling numerous forms and keeping track of deadlines when the forms need to be submitted.
It may be possible that the attorney has to appear in court a couple of times, depending on the state the person resides in. Other than this, the entire probate process takes place through emails and mailings, which can delay the process.
Paying Fees for Probate
While the attorney and the estate’s executor (or personal representative) are entitled to fees from the estate, usually the executor does not take any fee if they are going to inherit the property or a substantial amount from it. However, the same is not true for a probate attorney. In a majority of states in the US, the court decides a reasonable sum as the attorney’s fee, but in other states, a specific percentage is paid to the attorney after the procedure is completed.
However, your expenses don’t end there. You will also have to foot many other probate-related costs, including but not limited to payments to appraisers and court costs.
The Ideal Solution
The best way to avoid probate is to plan your estate and ensure you clearly identify beneficiaries. This way, the estate will not have to go into probate and you will be ensuring your loved ones are not subjected to the stressful and expensive probate process. Hire a probate attorney in Florida that has experience in estate planning; this way, you and your loved ones do not have to worry about probate and the expenses involved.
Now you know why you should avoid probate. Make sure you hire the right attorney to help you with your estate planning. At Heider Law, we specialize in probate, will, and estate issues. Contact us if you are seeking personalized legal service at affordable rates.