Estate Planning

Do You Need to Avoid Probate?

Female statue balancing scales
Trustworthy icon

Mary L. Barrow, Esq.

Mar 2, 2022

Probate is the name for a legal proceeding in which a deceased person’s Last Will and Testament (or “Will”) is presented to the court which has legal authority (or “jurisdiction”) over the settlement of estates.

The purpose of probate is so that the court can determine whether or not the Will is valid. If the court determines that the Will is valid, then the Will is said to have been “probated,” that is, proved. The court will also appoint the executor and a guardian for minor children, if necessary. The court will oversee how the executor is managing the estate by requiring the executor to file reports from time to time.

Is it best to avoid probate?

A popular misconception is that you must avoid probate at all costs. The reality is that it depends.

Probate procedures vary enormously, not only from state to state, but even from court to court. You’ll want to find out how your local probate court rates on the following factors.

Questions to ask about the probate process

  • How high are the probate fees? In some parts of the country the probate fees your estate will have to pay to the court are very expensive. You’ll likely want to avoid this. In other places, they are minimal and may not be worth the trouble of avoiding.

  • Will the court process prolong the settlement of your estate? In some places it may take weeks or months just to have your executor appointed. In other places, the court can appoint your executor the same day if you have the original Will, death certificate and some simple paperwork.

  • How daunting is the paperwork? In some places, the probate forms are simple and in others they can appear incomprehensible.

  • Does the probate process add value? Some people feel like having the judge oversee the process adds value. Some feel they make sure everyone is following your wishes, as expressed in your Will. But, others feel the process is more bureaucratic in nature and adds little value.

Your attorney can help you find these answers and advise you regarding whether avoiding probate is desirable where you live.

Excerpt from the book Estate Planning for the Savvy Client: What You Need to Know Before You Meet With Your Lawyer by Mary L. Barrow, Esq.

Copyright ©2020, 2017 by Mary L. Barrow

THIS EXCERPT IS A BRIEF SUMMARY FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE ADVICE OF COMPETENT LEGAL COUNSEL FROM AN ATTORNEY ADMITTED OR AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE LAW IN YOUR JURISDICTION. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR ATTORNEY BEFORE IMPLEMENTING OR CHANGING ANY ESTATE PLANNING STRATEGY.

Estate Planning

Do You Need to Avoid Probate?

Female statue balancing scales
Trustworthy icon

Mary L. Barrow, Esq.

Mar 2, 2022

Probate is the name for a legal proceeding in which a deceased person’s Last Will and Testament (or “Will”) is presented to the court which has legal authority (or “jurisdiction”) over the settlement of estates.

The purpose of probate is so that the court can determine whether or not the Will is valid. If the court determines that the Will is valid, then the Will is said to have been “probated,” that is, proved. The court will also appoint the executor and a guardian for minor children, if necessary. The court will oversee how the executor is managing the estate by requiring the executor to file reports from time to time.

Is it best to avoid probate?

A popular misconception is that you must avoid probate at all costs. The reality is that it depends.

Probate procedures vary enormously, not only from state to state, but even from court to court. You’ll want to find out how your local probate court rates on the following factors.

Questions to ask about the probate process

  • How high are the probate fees? In some parts of the country the probate fees your estate will have to pay to the court are very expensive. You’ll likely want to avoid this. In other places, they are minimal and may not be worth the trouble of avoiding.

  • Will the court process prolong the settlement of your estate? In some places it may take weeks or months just to have your executor appointed. In other places, the court can appoint your executor the same day if you have the original Will, death certificate and some simple paperwork.

  • How daunting is the paperwork? In some places, the probate forms are simple and in others they can appear incomprehensible.

  • Does the probate process add value? Some people feel like having the judge oversee the process adds value. Some feel they make sure everyone is following your wishes, as expressed in your Will. But, others feel the process is more bureaucratic in nature and adds little value.

Your attorney can help you find these answers and advise you regarding whether avoiding probate is desirable where you live.

Excerpt from the book Estate Planning for the Savvy Client: What You Need to Know Before You Meet With Your Lawyer by Mary L. Barrow, Esq.

Copyright ©2020, 2017 by Mary L. Barrow

THIS EXCERPT IS A BRIEF SUMMARY FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE ADVICE OF COMPETENT LEGAL COUNSEL FROM AN ATTORNEY ADMITTED OR AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE LAW IN YOUR JURISDICTION. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR ATTORNEY BEFORE IMPLEMENTING OR CHANGING ANY ESTATE PLANNING STRATEGY.

Estate Planning

Do You Need to Avoid Probate?

Female statue balancing scales
Trustworthy icon

Mary L. Barrow, Esq.

Mar 2, 2022

Probate is the name for a legal proceeding in which a deceased person’s Last Will and Testament (or “Will”) is presented to the court which has legal authority (or “jurisdiction”) over the settlement of estates.

The purpose of probate is so that the court can determine whether or not the Will is valid. If the court determines that the Will is valid, then the Will is said to have been “probated,” that is, proved. The court will also appoint the executor and a guardian for minor children, if necessary. The court will oversee how the executor is managing the estate by requiring the executor to file reports from time to time.

Is it best to avoid probate?

A popular misconception is that you must avoid probate at all costs. The reality is that it depends.

Probate procedures vary enormously, not only from state to state, but even from court to court. You’ll want to find out how your local probate court rates on the following factors.

Questions to ask about the probate process

  • How high are the probate fees? In some parts of the country the probate fees your estate will have to pay to the court are very expensive. You’ll likely want to avoid this. In other places, they are minimal and may not be worth the trouble of avoiding.

  • Will the court process prolong the settlement of your estate? In some places it may take weeks or months just to have your executor appointed. In other places, the court can appoint your executor the same day if you have the original Will, death certificate and some simple paperwork.

  • How daunting is the paperwork? In some places, the probate forms are simple and in others they can appear incomprehensible.

  • Does the probate process add value? Some people feel like having the judge oversee the process adds value. Some feel they make sure everyone is following your wishes, as expressed in your Will. But, others feel the process is more bureaucratic in nature and adds little value.

Your attorney can help you find these answers and advise you regarding whether avoiding probate is desirable where you live.

Excerpt from the book Estate Planning for the Savvy Client: What You Need to Know Before You Meet With Your Lawyer by Mary L. Barrow, Esq.

Copyright ©2020, 2017 by Mary L. Barrow

THIS EXCERPT IS A BRIEF SUMMARY FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE ADVICE OF COMPETENT LEGAL COUNSEL FROM AN ATTORNEY ADMITTED OR AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE LAW IN YOUR JURISDICTION. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR ATTORNEY BEFORE IMPLEMENTING OR CHANGING ANY ESTATE PLANNING STRATEGY.

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Try Trustworthy today.

Try the Family Operating System® for yourself. You (and your family) will love it.

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Close-up of a tire on silver car on a road

Feb 1, 2023

What Happens To A Leased Vehicle When Someone Dies?

Do Wills Expire? 6 Things To Know
Do Wills Expire? 6 Things To Know
Do Wills Expire? 6 Things To Know

Jan 31, 2023

Do Wills Expire? 6 Things To Know

Person typing on a laptop
Person typing on a laptop
Person typing on a laptop

Jan 31, 2023

How To Get Into a Deceased Person's Computer (Microsoft & Apple)

Fingerprint documentation
Fingerprint documentation
Fingerprint documentation

Jan 31, 2023

Why Do Funeral Homes Take Fingerprints of the Deceased?

Foreclosure in front of a home
Foreclosure in front of a home
Foreclosure in front of a home

Jan 31, 2023

What To Do If Your Deceased Parents' Home Is In Foreclosure

Questions To Ask An Estate Attorney After Death (Checklist)
Questions To Ask An Estate Attorney After Death (Checklist)
Questions To Ask An Estate Attorney After Death (Checklist)

Jan 31, 2023

Questions To Ask An Estate Attorney After Death (Checklist)

Woman looking stressed while holding a document at her computer
Woman looking stressed while holding a document at her computer
Woman looking stressed while holding a document at her computer

Jan 31, 2023

What Happens If a Deceased Individual Owes Taxes?

Elderly people talking with professional
Elderly people talking with professional
Elderly people talking with professional

Jan 31, 2023

Components of Estate Planning: 6 Things To Consider

What To Do If Insurance Check Is Made Out To A Deceased Person
What To Do If Insurance Check Is Made Out To A Deceased Person
What To Do If Insurance Check Is Made Out To A Deceased Person

Jan 22, 2023

What To Do If Insurance Check Is Made Out To A Deceased Person

Scattered photograph negatives
Scattered photograph negatives
Scattered photograph negatives

Jan 8, 2023

What Does a Typical Estate Plan Include?

Can I Do A Video Will? (Is It Legitimate & What To Consider)
Can I Do A Video Will? (Is It Legitimate & What To Consider)
Can I Do A Video Will? (Is It Legitimate & What To Consider)

Apr 15, 2022

Can I Do A Video Will? (Is It Legitimate & What To Consider)

Estate Planning For Green Card Holders (Complete Guide)
Estate Planning For Green Card Holders (Complete Guide)
Estate Planning For Green Card Holders (Complete Guide)

Apr 15, 2022

Estate Planning For Green Card Holders (Complete Guide)

Chair in a bedroom
Chair in a bedroom
Chair in a bedroom

Mar 2, 2022

What Does Your “Property” Mean?

Gavel
Gavel
Gavel

Mar 2, 2022

What is the Uniform Trust Code? What is the Uniform Probate Code?

Female statue balancing scales
Female statue balancing scales
Female statue balancing scales

Mar 2, 2022

Do You Need to Avoid Probate?

Person signing document
Person signing document
Person signing document

Mar 2, 2022

How is a Trust Created?

stethoscope
stethoscope
stethoscope

Mar 2, 2022

What Are Advance Directives?

Couple standing on the beach
Couple standing on the beach
Couple standing on the beach

Mar 2, 2022

What does a Trustee Do?

Large house exterior
Large house exterior
Large house exterior

Mar 2, 2022

What is an Estate Plan? (And why you need one)

Gavel
Gavel
Gavel

Mar 2, 2022

What is Probate?

United States Map
United States Map
United States Map

Mar 2, 2022

What Is Your Domicile & Why It Matters

Man organizing paperwork
Man organizing paperwork
Man organizing paperwork

Mar 2, 2022

What Is a Power of Attorney for Finances?

A baby and toddler lying on a bed
A baby and toddler lying on a bed
A baby and toddler lying on a bed

Mar 1, 2022

Should your family consider an umbrella insurance policy?

Woman typing on laptop on a table with tea, plant, notebooks
Woman typing on laptop on a table with tea, plant, notebooks
Woman typing on laptop on a table with tea, plant, notebooks

Mar 1, 2022

Do I need a digital power of attorney?

Person signing documents
Person signing documents
Person signing documents

Apr 6, 2020

What Exactly is a Trust?