There are a number of different reasons why experts advise people to think twice before they try to use DIY downloads to create estate planning documents like last wills. One of them is the fact that an estate must be probated in a particular jurisdiction after someone dies.
During this process the local probate court supervises the administration of the estate. Every state is unique, and they have different probate statutes. As a result, if you live here in the greater Hartford area your last will should be prepared with the expectations of our local probate courts in mind.
With regard to the varying laws that exist from state to state there is the possibility of bypassing formal, complete probate proceedings depending on the value of the assets that are being transferred. Here in the state of Connecticut we have a simplified probate process for smaller estates.
If your spouse was to pass away, or if you were the executor of an estate you may be able to file an affidavit with the probate court requesting access to the simplified procedure. The affidavit should attest to the fact that all debts have been paid, and the remaining assets that must be distributed do not include any real property with the total value not exceeding $40,000.
Those who to try to go it alone using a so-called one-size-fits-all estate planning document could wind up engaging in a full-scale probate proceeding that consumes resources and takes many months to run its course. If this individual had worked with an estate planning attorney instead he or she would have been fully informed about the simplified process.