Estate planning attorneys will always advise clients to be aware the realities of probate.
It can seem as though executing a last will as your primary vehicle of asset transfer is the simplest and most efficient solution. However, you would do well to understand the fact that your estate must be probated when you use a last will to direct future asset transfers.
One of the unappealing aspects of probate is the fact that there are costs that go along with it. Probate is a legal proceeding and the court itself will charge a fee. There are also executor expenses, legal fees, accounting charges, liquidation expenses, etc.
Another negative that goes along with probate is the fact that it is time-consuming, and the heirs to the estate do not receive their inheritances until the process has run its course.
How long can probate last? One of the singers in the Bee Gees, Robin Gibb, passed away on May 20 at the age of 62 in London. It is estimated that his estate is valued at some €93 million, and of course as a musical artist royalties will continue to come in over the years.
People close to the situation who understand his property holdings are suggesting that his estate could be hung up in probate for years.
If this type of potential time lag is a source of concern you may want to speak with a good estate planning attorney to find out how to arrange for asset transfers outside of probate.
There are various probate avoidance strategies that can be optimal depending on the situation in question. Your attorney will gain an understanding of your circumstances and explain your options to you.