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Understanding the probate process

In the estate planning process, most discussion about probate is about how to avoid it. Many people feel that the best way to deal with the probate process is to avoid it as much as possible.

Although probate has gotten a negative reputation, it is not necessarily a negative process. It is important to be informed about the probate process so that you can make the plan that is best for you, your family, and your estate.

What is the probate process?

The word “probate” refers to the legal process, the court system, and the management of assets. The probate process refers to the legal procedure during which an estate is handled. This process is overseen by a court known as the probate court. The probate process includes many aspects of estate planning such as choosing an executor, totaling assets, paying estate taxes, identifying heirs, and distributing assets.

The pros and cons

The major downside of probate is the time, effort, and money that it frequently requires. It is a lengthy legal process that can take weeks or months. Should a beneficiary or relative contest part of the will, it can take even longer. It can also rack up a sizeable amount of fees.

Believe it or not though, the probate process does have its upsides. Probate can provide some degree of closure for the deceased’s family. If something about the estate seems uncertain, like the validity of the will or the status of an heir, the probate process will provide closure.

During the probate process, it is crucial to have the counsel of an experienced attorney who will advocate for your best interests. If the estate of someone you love is in probate, or if you are concerned about the effects that probate will have on your estate, you can contact the offices of StachlerHarmon, Attorneys at Law.

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