If an estate has to go through probate, there are several outcomes your family may expect from the process. To begin with, you might spend a significant amount on various fees associated with the proceedings. Additionally, you may have to wait a long time to access the estate and inherit the assets and money as indicated in the will. The period might even be extended if the issues discussed below arise during probate:
Family Members Not Seeing Eye to Eye
It's not uncommon for family members to disagree during probate. This is more so if some heirs feel they should get more money or assets than the testator awarded them. Moreover, some might object to the implementation of the estate plan after discovering that they are not among the named beneficiaries. Family members may even have differing views regarding the sale of assets or the interpretation of unclear wordings in a trust or will. These issues can be difficult to resolve without expert intervention. Therefore, hiring an estate law practitioner to mediate or litigate the matter in court is advisable to avoid unnecessary delays and expenses.
If the Personal Representative Is Unwilling to Serve
Certain people accept the responsibility of serving as personal representatives when a testator is planning their estate. Yet, some then express their unwillingness to continue with the role during probate. If this happens, you must wait until the court appoints another administrator before the process can move forward. Working with an attorney when planning an estate is wise in order to avoid this issue. They will ensure that the testator names an alternative for this role to eliminate this as a possible avenue for delays even if an executor changes their mind.
Not Engaging a Legal Advisor Beforehand
Many testators who plan for their estates on their own make mistakes that cause their documents to be unimplementable. It ties up the estate for years in expensive litigation that usually leads to heirs getting less money than they're entitled to. Some testators also make mistakes that result in their loved ones not being taken care of the way they had wanted. This emphasizes the importance of working with an attorney when drafting estate planning documents. When you do this, you receive assistance to avoid mistakes that could lead to probate. In addition, even if your estate will have to go through this process, your lawyer will represent your family to ensure that the proceedings take the least time and cost the least amount possible.
As the information above shows, many things can go wrong and lead to delays if an estate goes through probate. Thus, it is advisable to work with an estate law attorney when preparing your estate plan. They will assist you in creating a document that will help your relatives avoid probate. Furthermore, if probate is unavoidable, your lawyer will guide your relatives through the complex process.
For more information, contact a local law firm, such as Cobb Law Group, LP.