Probate law can seem complex to those who have never dealt with it; those who have endured the probate process likely never want to go through it again. While not everything you may have heard is true, probate can be an awful process, especially after the strain a death can cause. Here are five issues that make probate awful and why you should work with an estate planning attorney to avoid it.
Probate Can Take a Long Time
The probate process can be quite long. It takes eight months to over a year to just secure the appointment of a representative for the estate. More complex estates can require more time, and busy NY state courts frequently experience backlogs that can mean further delays.
Probate is Confusing and Complicated
Probate is extremely confusing and far too complicated for most families and individuals to understand. The paperwork is abysmal and people often make mistakes that cause further delays. Many people are unaware that filing for probate is even necessary or are not aware of any simplified processes that could be available. Not filing for probate can create severe penalties and setbacks.
Probate Can be Further Confused by a Bad Estate Plan
Probate is not the time to discover that your loved one had a bad estate plan. Outdated plans, estate plans that contain contradictory documents and plans that are rumored to exist but cannot be found can all cause significant headaches and delays with the probate process. The axiom that any plan is better than no plan does not necessarily apply to your estate plan.
Probate Can be Delayed or Complicated by DIY Estate Plans
Everything is available on the Internet – except it is not. Just as you would not trust a heart surgeon that follows the instructions on a YouTube video to perform surgery on your heart, you should not trust DIY downloadable estate plans. Such generic documents cannot possibly cover everything for everyone and they do not contain the legal knowledge you need to protect your family.
Probate is a Public Process
More than ever, modern families prefer to keep their business and financial affairs private to prevent attempts at fraud or a stolen identity. Probate is a public process that allows virtually anyone to search and discover everything about your estate, including the valuation and distribution of assets. All your personal business becomes public record.
Commission the Help of Estate Planning Attorneys
Beress & Zalkind PLLC is a boutique law firm with a proven record of both excellence and expertise. They can help you craft a secure and workable estate plan to avoid probate and the resulting delays and costs. If it has been a while since you examined your estate plan, or you do not have one, now is the time. Contact us at (718) 513-3588 or by emailing email@example.com. Our attorneys are licensed in New York, New Jersey, and Florida.