Probate is the legal process that takes place after your death to pass title to your assets and resolve any outstanding debts. An attorney chosen by your executor completes the legally required documents and files them with the court. Depending on whether a decedent died with a will or without a will, a decision will be made later about how your assets will be disbursed among your heirs and beneficiaries.

Generally speaking a successful estate plan avoids probate and as a result, will save your estate time and money and preserve your family’s privacy. The minimum time to probate an estate is six months although very few are completed in that time. A probate can easily take one year, two years, and even longer. The probate process allows for a four month delay just to give creditors time to make their claim to your estate.

Probate is expensive; it could cost up to 8% of the value of the assets to cover the statutory attorney and executor fees. Depending on the size of your estate, this could mean tens of thousands of dollars that could otherwise have gone to your heirs. In addition, probate cases are public information entitling anyone to access information about your private matters, potentially causing embarrassment or aggravation to your family. The public nature of the proceeding could make your family the target of unscrupulous individuals who prey on the beneficiaries of your estate.

If you have no choice and the estate of a loved one needs probate, the Law Office of Paulla Hyatt-McIntire can help. We can settle your loved one’s estate in the kindest most efficient manner possible. Call us at 530-674-9761 or contact us today.