People sometimes act without having enough information, and negative consequences can come about as a result. This type of thing certainly applies to estate planning.
There are websites on the Internet that sell do-it-yourself legal documents, including estate planning devices like last wills. They claim that estate planning is something that you can do by simply filling in the blanks.
If you assume that you should use a do-it-yourself last will as a vehicle of asset transfer, your loved ones may find this to be a regrettable decision.
For one thing, the last will may or may not be properly constructed. Secondly, the will must be admitted to probate before the heirs to the estate can receive their inheritances.
Probate is a legal process that takes place under the supervision of the Surrogate’s Court in the state of New York. Probate is not inherently negative, and the state tries to provide an efficient process, but there are some pitfalls that go along with probate.
The process does not run its course overnight. In New York, the simplest of cases could potentially pass through probate in around nine months. This can seem like a long time when you are waiting for a much-needed inheritance.
Time consumption is not the only drawback.
There are various different expenses that can pile up during the probate process. First off, when you draw up a last will, you should name an executor. This is the person who will administer the estate after you pass away.
The executor is entitled to a fee, and there will be a filing fee with the court. Because probate is a legal process, the executor will often need the assistance of a probate lawyer, so there are legal expenses.
Final taxes must be paid during probate, and there can be other accounting chores that must be tackled. As a result, an accountant may be retained.
Property appraisals may be required so that the executor can appropriately liquidate assets for distribution to multiple different heirs. Additional expenses can be incurred during the liquidation process, and other miscellaneous costs can present themselves.
In the end, a truly noticeable portion of the estate could be consumed during the probate process. This is money that would have otherwise gone into the pockets of the surviving family members.
Free Probate Report
We have just scratched the surface in this post. If you would like to obtain some in-depth information about the legal process of probate, we have a valuable resource that you can access through this website.