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3 common misconceptions surrounding probate

On Behalf of | May 4, 2021 | Probate

Probate is a process you may seek to avoid. It has the potential to create a great deal of hassle for your heirs.

It is also surrounded by many fallacies. These need dispelling before proper estate planning may occur since probate is a major consideration when developing wills.

1. The existence of a will precludes the need for probate

It is a falsehood that if you have a last will and testament, your beneficiaries avoid probate completely. The probate court does not function solely as an arena for contesting the decedent’s wishes as television may lead some to believe. Its primary purpose is to fulfill two tasks: It ensures the payment of all debts and transfers assets to inheritors.

2. The process is always long and expensive

Individuals often associate it with long, drawn-out battles and the draining of the estate’s funds. In reality, with preparation, it may reach completion in a short time and without considerable loss of money. U.S. News & World Report states that proceedings may take anywhere from several months to several years to finish. It also estimates the cost to be between 3% and 7% of the estate’s value.

3. The choice to leave your spouse nothing does not affect probate

If you choose to leave your partner nothing, then California law grants said individual the right to a piece of your former property regardless. If you both agree on this arrangement, then you need to sign papers waiving this right.

Probate has the potential to be both simple and complex. Planning with its minimization in mind may save your heirs time and expense and spare them a great deal of frustration.