The sad truth about estate planning is that most people don’t have any idea how probate law works. The lack of education surrounding probate has led to a lot of misinformation and myths being created. Hiring a great estate planning lawyer can help you avoid making decisions based on bad information, but you should still take some time to research how estate planning works before moving forward. It’s always a good idea to separate fact from fiction, which is why we have created the following list of 3 probate myths in order to set the record straight.
The first myth we are going to look at is whether or not making a will means that you won’t have to go through probate. The truth is that you can’t entirely avoid probate. Probate is guided by state and local laws, which means that everyone has to be probated after they pass away. A will is certainly beneficial and can help you leave your assets to the people that you want, but avoiding probate with a will is simply not the reality.
Another common myth related to probate is that the will is going to be read out loud to all parties after you pass away. This is absolutely a myth, but you can count on everyone listed in the will to receive a copy. The beneficiaries will need to carefully read over the will after you pass away to make sure that they fully understand its implications. If you have any questions about drafting a will or probate, reach out to an estate lawyer today.
The last myth about probate that we are going to mention here is the idea that probate will last for years and even decades. Sure, the probate process can take a fair amount of time to complete, but it is usually completed within 5 months to a year. Sometimes, probate can last longer than the common timeframe, but this is usually when extremely wealthy estates need to be divided up. Keep in mind that the probate process involves allowing the creditors of the deceased to have an opportunity to file claims against outstanding debts, which is part of the reason why it takes a few months to complete.