Should You Be Concerned about Probate and Probate Litigation?

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Should You Be Concerned about Probate and Probate Litigation?

One purpose of estate planning is for asset protection, but another purpose is to avoid probate and potential probate litigation. However, even the best estate plans don’t always keep people out of probate court. By working with an experienced estate planning attorney, you can take actions to avert probate and a contested will as much as possible.

According to an American Bar Association (ABA) article, called “Plotting Against Probate“, the following flaws make probate something to avoid:

  • High legal fees that consume a large portion of an estate’s assets
  • Prolonged time in litigation that ties up the estate
  • Failure to maintain family privacy because of public records

 

Both state legislatures and individuals have taken measures to sidestep the probate process. Laws have been enacted making small and simple estates exempt from the probate process. And individuals have become creative in transferring their assets out of wills and into revocable trusts, thereby out of probate’s reach.

But there is a downside to avoiding the formality and oversight of probate. Quite simply, the lack of outside supervision increases the risk of fraudulent schemes and family power plays interfering with the fair distribution of assets. The very deliberation and slow progression associated with probate does protect all parties from a quick, ill-intentioned maneuver by any one individual.

Work with a knowledgeable and experienced estate planning lawyer at John F. Hanzel, P.A. to discuss the best approach to dealing with your estate. Our attorneys can help you incorporate legal instruments that minimize the likelihood of contested issues in the first place.