As you age, you may look for ways to prepare for a time when you won’t be here. The goal for most people is to make things as easy as possible for their family after they pass.
Unfortunately, there are so many misconceptions about probate that it can be difficult to know what you need to do to avoid it. Knowing the truth about probate and how to avoid it will help you with proper end-of-life planning.
Myth: If you have a will, you can avoid probate
Some believe if you create a last will and testament, your beneficiaries will avoid probate completely. However, the probate court isn’t just where people go to contest your wishes. The main purpose of probate is to ensure all debts are paid and that assets are transferred to the proper individuals.
Myth: Probate is always expensive and long
You may think of probate as a long and drawn-out battle that drains all the funds in the estate. However, with proper preparation, probate can be handled quickly without the loss of much money. While the specific amount of time probate takes varies based on the person and the size of their estate, it’s not always as long or as expensive as some people believe.
Myth: Your oldest child should be in charge of your estate
The personal representative is the person who will administer your estate during probate. You can select this person and put the information in your will. Without a will, the court will assign a personal representative. While you may name your oldest child to be the personal representative, this is not a requirement. You can put anyone in this position.
As you can see, there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding probate. It’s a good idea to work with an expert in the field as you create your estate plan to ensure you set up your situation to be as simple and hassle-free for your loved ones as possible.