Many people have heard of probate, but few know what it is until they are actually required to abide by the probate rules. Probate is a court-supervised procedure in which a client’s property is inventoried, the client’s debts are paid, and the client’s property is distributed to the beneficiaries.
For example, if a client has assets valued over $150,000 and does not have a living trust, the estate will most likely go through the probate procedure – even if a will exists. At The Law Office of Lisa C. Bryant, we guide inheritance beneficiaries through the probate procedure.
Probate can be a lengthy and expensive process. A typical probate takes nine to eighteen months from start to finish. The attorneys at the Law Office of Lisa C. Bryant make it our goal to be accessible, walking clients through every step of the probate procedure. We believe that client understanding helps the process proceed as smoothly and quickly possible.
Lawyers Helping You Avoid Probate Costs
Most people, if asked, would prefer to avoid the expense and time delay of having their estate probated. In most cases, the high costs of probate should be avoided. In all cases, probate can be avoided through proper estate planning. The price of an estate plan is a fraction of the cost of probate. The probate process includes court-set fees and can total approximately $23,000 for a million dollar estate.
A will alone is not enough to avoid the probate process. A successful estate plan includes a will, a living trust, a financial power of attorney and an advanced health care (medical) directive. Some clients may also need some supplemental documents to tie things together. The attorneys at the Law Office of Lisa C. Bryant work closely with clients to create an estate plan that addresses a wide range of issues, including:
- Who do you trust to make medical and financial decisions?
- Who do you want to leave things to?
- At what time should the inheritance happen?
- What happens if you become incapacitated?