If the probate process confuses you, you’re in good company. Here are some common misconceptions surrounding probate:
1. If you have a Will, your family will not have to go through a probate. Not true! In fact, if you do Will-based planning, you are planning for a probate. This means your estate will go through a court process, open to public examination, before your beneficiaries will receive their inheritance. According to a 2018 EstateExec survey, on average it takes almost 16 months to settle a U. S. estate. That’s a significant wait time for beneficiaries to receive the assets you intended them to have.
2. Probate is a simple and speedy process. While this sometimes can be true with uncomplicated estates or low value
estates, most probates will require at least a minimal amount of legal and financial counseling. Professional help from a good probate attorney and certified public accountant will be your best insurance for preventing unnecessary expenses and delays during the probate process.
3. Probate will be cheaper than having a Trust. You may save money initially by choosing a Will-based plan over a Trust-based plan. However, you must consider that upon your death, your estate will pay for the probate process. According to the 2018 EstateExec survey, the average U.S. estate was valued between $50,000 and $250,000. The average legal and accounting fees paid were $12,400 and average executor fees were around $18,000.
With a Trust-based plan, you pay more initially to draw up the Trust documents, but the cost to administer the Trust after your death will be significantly less than a probate action. Court approval is not required to distribute assets or pay bills. In the end, many individuals save money by creating a Trust, due to the avoidance of the probate process. Additionally, with a Trust-based estate plan, distribution of assets to beneficiaries generally is significantly faster than a Will-based plan. Creating a Trust may seem overly complicated, but a good estate planning attorney can walk you through the process, minimizing expenses, errors and confusion.
The attorneys at Davis & McCann, P. A. can help you sort through common misconceptions about Kansas probate. We’ve been helping Western Kansas clients work through the probate process, since 2003. We are members of Wealth Counsel, a national consortium of Estate Planning Attorneys. Our focus is to provide the best legal advice on Estate Planning, Probate, Trust Administration, Medicaid and Long-term Care Planning, Corporate Formation, Business and Agri-Business Succession Planning, Real Estate Transactions, and related matters.
NEWS YOU CAN USE
Davis & McCann, P. A.,