What is Probate? What happens during probate? How long does it take? How much does it cost?
Probate is another of those legal terms we hear frequently when the subject of a will comes up but few of us really know what is involved with Probate and Probate Court and how long Probate takes and how much Probate costs and how much aggravation Probate can add to the process of settling the estate of a loved one, relative or friend.
Elder law attorney Martha Patterson knows all about Probate and frequently she says she is called upon to go to Probate court to clear up matters that could have been prevented with proper planning. Here’s what she tells her clients about dealing with Probate and possibly being able to avoid Probate.
Probate is a formal court process to administer an estate, she advises. The troubling fact is that it takes on average 18 months to complete the Probate process. It’s a difficult procedure because the court has strict requirements such as the court will require an executor to appraise and inventory all property all property in the estate. Then, all expenses are paid, bills are paid, and creditors can make claims against the estate. These claims — bills — will have to be paid. And once all bills and claims are paid you ask for the Probate Court to distribute the estate.
“It’s a lot of accounting and time spent, and I see attorneys getting paid a lot of money,” says Martha Patterson, “when plans are not made to avoid Probate.”
Elder law attorney Martha Patterson offers a free consultation and $500 off any paid services when you contact her at her website www.ElderLawMom.com and this is something you shouldn’t put off.