The Myths Behind Probate

When it comes to wills, you probably know that all wills go through probate. A lot of people have fear over probate. They may have heard several myths about probate, such as probate is too expensive, it takes too much time and you have little control over the executor. Here is the truth behind those myths.

Probate May Take Years

Probate can take time. When the will goes to probate, the creditors have a chance to file a claim against the estate. Everyone’s circumstances are different and everyone’s timeline is different. Probate, however, doesn’t usually take years. It tends to take a few months and at the most, a year. There is a chance that it can take more than a year, but this is usually only in instances with wealthy estates that continue to earn money after the owner of the estate passes away. An estate planning lawyer can help you predict how long probate court will last for every individual case.

Probate Depletes the Estate

A common misconception is that probate court is so expensive that it can deplete the entire state. By the time that probate is over, there won’t be anything left to the estate. Probate can indeed be expensive. By no means will probate court deplete your estate of all its assets, however. Probate generally only costs three to seven percent of the estate value.

Probate Court Chooses the Executor

A lot of people believe that when your will goes to probate, the court will automatically choose the executor. Another myth is that the person the court chooses is always the eldest child of the deceased. Neither of these are entirely true. If you don’t appoint an executor yourself, then the court will choose someone for you. If you name the executor in the will, then the court will typically follow your instructions.

If the court must appoint an executor, then the state law may determine who the court chooses. It does not always have anything to do with the age of your children.

All of the misconceptions that surround probate can deter people from choosing a will. For some people, wills may not be the best option, but for others, wills can be the best possible option. When you know the truth about probate, it is not that bad. Consult with an estate planning lawyer, such as from Citadel Law Firm, today to find out more about wills and probate.