4 Misconceptions About The Probate Process

Have you found yourself in a situation where a loved one has passed away, and now you have to go through the probate process to gain access to your inheritance? If so, you have likely heard some misconceptions about going through a probate that needs to be cleared up. Here are 4 of those misconceptions.

Misconception: Every Estate Must Go Through The Probate Process

Over the years you may have heard of many people that have gone through your exact situation of going through probate, leading you to assume that all estates must do this. That is not true, since probate can be avoided with a proper estate plan. Some people decide to use living trusts as an alternative to a will, which will avoid probate entirely because the assets will have already changed hands through the living trust process.

Misconception: Probate Will Be Very Slow

While the probate process is often known for being slow, it often has to do with the size of the estate that is being dispersed and what kind of will the person had. If the estate is fairly small, there are no debts, and the directions in the will are quite clear, then there will be very little that can be disputed during probate. This can help things move along quickly

Misconception: Probate Is Expensive

Another misconception about probate is that the process will be very expensive. While there are costs involved with hiring a lawyer to help you go through this process, the number of hours spent by your lawyer will depend on the complexity of the estate. You must also factor that costs are involved for any estate planning method. Even if your loved one decided to make a living trust, there are costs involved in that process that would have had to been paid from the estate prior to their passing.

Misconception: You'll Always Receive An Inheritance In The End

What many people do not realize is that the probate process is designed to settle an estate with all creditors first, and then what is left will be passed on to the heirs. If your loved one has a lot of debts, you may not realize that much of the estate will go towards paying the debts and leave you with very little when all things are settled.

Have questions about going through probate? Reach out to a probate lawyer that specializes in this legal process to help you out.