By: Attorney Shira Truitt
The probate process can be daunting, and can be even more challenging when issues arise during the process. The probate process is the legal process of administering a deceased person's estate; it can be complex and time-consuming. It involves verifying the authenticity of a will, inventorying and valuing the deceased's assets, paying debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries.
One of the main challenges of the probate process is the potential for disputes among beneficiaries. These disputes can arise due to disagreements over the distribution of assets or the interpretation of the terms of the will. In some cases, these disputes can lead to costly and time-consuming litigation. Another challenge is the potential for delays. The probate process can take several months or even years to complete, depending on the complexity of the estate and the number of beneficiaries involved. This can be frustrating for beneficiaries who are waiting to receive their inheritance.
In addition to these challenges, the probate process can also be expensive. Probate fees, which are paid to the court and the personal representative overseeing the estate, can be significant. These fees can eat into the value of the estate and reduce the amount of assets that are available to be distributed to beneficiaries.
While there are challenges, they can be mitigated. One option is to create a trust, which allows assets to be transferred to beneficiaries outside of the probate process. A trust can also help to avoid disputes by clearly outlining the terms of asset distribution. Another option is to use a will that includes a pour-over provision, which directs that any assets not placed in a trust before the testator's death be transferred to the trust upon their death. This can help to ensure that all assets are properly distributed and avoid the need for probate.
Overall, the probate process can present a number of challenges, including the potential for disputes, delays, and high costs. By taking the necessary steps, it is possible to ensure a smoother process for probate.
"Probate Basics" (https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/probate-basics.html)
"The Probate Process: An Overview" (https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/probate)
"Probate: An Overview" (https://www.lawyers.com/legal-info/estate-planning/probate/probate-an-overview.html)
If you need legal advice or a lawyer in Illinois or Missouri, please contact The Truitt Law Firm, LLC for assistance. For more information on The Truitt Law Firm, LLC or to schedule an appointment, please go to www.thetruittlawfirm.com.