Common Misconceptions About Probate
Probate is the legal process in which a will is proved valid in court. It can be a complicated process, and there are many misunderstandings about it. If you are getting ready to probate an estate, it’s important to get the facts.
Here are some common misconceptions about the probate process.
Probate Always Takes Years to Complete
This is one of the most common myths about the probate process. While it does take time to probate an estate, it will rarely take multiple years. In most cases, an estate can be probated within just one year. It may take longer to complete the probate process if there are substantial assets or someone has contested the will.
Wills Never Go Through Probate
Many people assume that simply having a will can help you avoid the probate process. This just isn’t true. If you want your beneficiaries to avoid going through probate, you will have to do some extra planning. For example, you can put certain assets in a trust or establish joint ownership of a property..
Probate Is Very Expensive
A common worry people have about the process is that it will eat up all the assets in the estate. The good news is that this isn’t the case. Most of the time, the cost of probate is less than five percent of the value of the estate. On the other hand, if someone decides to challenge the will, probate costs can rise.
Without a Will, the Government Gets Your Property
If you die without a proper will, there is still very little chance that your property will go to the government. Your property will typically go to your surviving spouse first. If there is no surviving spouse, your property will be handed down to your surviving children. If you have no surviving children, your property may go to other family members.
The Oldest Child is Automatically the Executor During Probate
It is true that many people select their oldest child to be the executor of their estate. However, this is by no means required. You can select anyone you want to be the executor of your estate, whether it’s one of your children or a family friend. You may also appoint a lawyer to be the executor of your estate.