Benefits of Estate Planning
Probate court is the court that will administer the estate of a person that passes away without having a plan in place. This is called dying intestate. When someone dies with a will it is called testate. Probate Administration is the resolution of a persons estate that has passed away intestate or with a will. It is a deadline driven process that can be expensive, long and public.
No one can tell you the exact amount that a probate case will cost. However common expenses include legal fees, court fees, appraisals, publication fees and other fees that may be case specific. Estimates are that the cost of administering an estate through probate court are 3-8% of the value of your probatable assets. This is money that is taken out of your estate that could have passed to your family.
Probate can take a significant amount of time. In Michigan, the minimum time for a probate case is 5 months. However, some cases can take years to resolve. The amount of time a case takes to go through probate depends on issues raised, the court’s docket and whether or not there are any disputes among beneficiaries. Given the COVID-19 crises, most courts have closed. Thus, they are not handling cases. There will be a backlog of cases that were already filed before COVID-19 thus likely pushing the resolution of newer cases out even further.
Probate makes the financial affairs of a person that has passed away very public. Information that becomes public record includes the nature of the person’s assets and debts. It also becomes public information as to who gets the assets.
Probate has many negative aspects to it. It can be expensive, long and public. It is possible to avoid probate with proper planning. Our office can help you to put a plan in place that can help your estate to avoid probate.
PEACE OF MIND
The loss of a loved one can cause a significant amount of stress and anxiety for a loved one. It often times leads to family conflict. The last thing that they should have to deal with is the additional stress of having to go to court to resolve your estate. By implementing an estate plan you will have the peace of mind that you are helping your family to avoid the probate process and significantly reducing any potential added stress in their time of grief.