The probate process is a legal mechanism that can enter the picture when an estate is being administered. When a last will is used as a vehicle of asset transfer, it must be admitted to probate after the testator’s death, and the probate court will supervise the administration of the estate.
This process can be complicated, and it can get lengthy. During the 1960s, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws decided to work with the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the American Bar Association to create a Uniform Probate Code. The idea was to simplify and streamline the process, and they wanted this probate code to be adopted in all 50 states so that there would be uniformity.
The endeavor came to fruition in 1969 when the code was completed. However, the Uniform Probate Code was not adopted by every state in the union. In fact, at the present time, the code is being used in its entirety in just 16 states.
We practice law in the state of California. The Uniform Probate Code is not being utilized in our state.
As we have touched upon previously, the probate process can be time-consuming. In most areas, a typical case will pass through probate in approximately one year, but more complicated cases can take considerably longer.
This time consumption is not the only drawback. Privacy is lost when an estate passes through probate. Anyone who is interested could access probate records to find out how the assets were distributed.
In a general sense, the loss of privacy can be disconcerting. However, in some cases, this information can cause disharmony among interested parties.
Probate expenses are another negative. During the process there will be court costs and estate administration expenses, and these expenditures reduce the inheritances that will ultimately go to the heirs.
There are probate avoidance strategies that can be implemented if you want to steer clear of these drawbacks. One popular probate avoidance tool is the revocable living trust. With this type of trust you maintain control of the resources while you are living, and you can change the terms or even dissolve the trust.
After you die, the trustee would distribute resources to the beneficiaries in accordance with your wishes, and the probate process would not be a factor.
Learn More About Probate
We have prepared an in-depth special report that will provide you with a great deal of very useful information about the probate process. The report is free, and you can visit this page to access your copy: Free Probate Report.
To Schedule a Free Consultation
If you are interested in the possibility of working with our firm after learning these facts, please select our “Workshops” tab to RSVP for a free estate planning workshop. At that workshop you will be offered a free one-hour consultation with an attorney: www.collinslawgroup.com/seminars/