When it comes to a probate action, attorneys can provide you a laundry list of reasons why you should try to avoid it. Probate is the legal process the court uses to administer the estate of a deceased person. During the probate proceeding, the court supervises the resolution of claims against the estate as well as how the assets of the deceased person are distributed under the terms of a will or as provided by law if no will exists. To keep it simple, the two primary reasons you should try to avoid the probate process are:
- It is time-consuming. Even if your estate is small and only involves a few parties, there are still a variety of forms that must be completed, procedural requirements that must be followed, and deadlines that must be met. As a result, a probate case can create roadblocks to administration, depending on the size and complexity of the case. For your loved ones, especially children, delays can be devastating financially and emotionally.
- It is more expensive. There are a variety of fees associated with a probate case, including attorney’s fees. Typically, a lawyer is paid a “reasonable” fee from the estate, as determined by the court. In some states, a probate attorney’s fees are a set percentage of the value of the estate. That is not the case in Utah. If a probate matter has contested issues or other complexities, the attorney’s fees can increase quickly, which lowers the value of the estate available to be distributed to your loved ones.
The executor of your estate is also entitled to be paid his/her fees from the estate. Depending on who is appointed to serve as the executor, the amount of the fee can vary greatly. In some cases, if the executor is a named beneficiary who will inherit from the deceased, the executor may waive payment of the fee.
There are other costs that can be incurred in a probate case. This includes court filing fees, appraiser’s fees, accountant’s fees and other similar expenses.
While the Utah probate system is one of the most user friendly in the country, you can still avoid significant costs and expenses by using a trust to avoid probate.
There are several other reasons for wanting to avoid probate, but if you can save time and money by handling your financial affairs now, why not do it? By taking care of your financial affairs now, you will have the peace of mind that your loved ones are protected.
The Astill Law Office has provided high quality legal services for over 30 years. We specialize in wills, trusts, estate planning, and asset protection. If you have any questions about creating a Trust, Will, or estate planning in general, contact The Astill Law Office at 801-438-8698.