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Do You Need To Avoid Probate?

What is Probate?  This is Our Definition & the True Reality -

“Probate is a lawsuit you file against yourself, with your own money, on behalf of your creditors.”

The Facts...

Probate is the legal process of presenting your Will to the Court after your death to authenticate it, and appoint your Executor/Personal Representative. Your Executor/Personal Representative must be appointed by the Court in order to collect and distribute your assets as stated in your Will. However, because it is a legal process, there are many steps that must be followed before your Executor can be appointed.

 

 

  • The probate process requires a Personal Representative be appointed - even in simple and/or uncontested cases.  
  • The Personal Representative must file numerous forms, follow an extensive and somewhat complicated process, and pay attention to deadlines and criteria throughout the entire process.  Most people find this to be exhausting, confusing, and a hassle.
  • After your Personal Representative is appointed, estate administration begins.  It is a period of time the law permits the Personal Representative to accumulate the assets and report to the Court how he/she intends to distribute them. This period is a minimum of seven months after the Executor is appointed. However, in most cases, it takes a year or more. If you die without a will, the process is similar, but the State decides who gets your assets, not you.
  • Unfortunately, probate is unpredictable. That's why many people chose to avoid it, but if all of your heirs agree and your assets are centralized, it can go smoothly.
  • Probate is a public process. Anyone can access the court files and find out about your money, who is getting it, and when. This can be devastating to vulnerable and grieving family members.

Probate is Avoidable ... With a Proper Estate Plan.

Have more questions? Contact us any time at (248) 278-1511 to schedule a time to speak with our attorney, Nicole Wipp!

This article regarding the probate process by Michigan lawyer Nicole Wipp and the Family & Aging Law Center PLLC is not, and should not be construed as, legal advice. It is for general informational purposes only. To better understand how this legal concept can be applied to you, consult with an attorney.

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