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Costs And Complications: The Probate Process

Posted on March 30th, 2023

Probate Lawyer

Probate is the court that you need to go to when a person passes away when their assets can’t be transferred without a court order according to a probate lawyer from Katje Law Group. Cases that can cause you to go through probate include:

  • A bank account without a beneficiary designation;
  • Stock accounts without beneficiary designations;
  • A title, such as property, that doesn’t have a trust;
  • And more…

In general, all assets will have to go through probate if the assets are not owed by a trust (for properties with titles) or proper beneficiary designations set up (for accounts) as the title transferred or name will need to be transferred by the court.

Can Probate Be Avoided?

Probate can be avoided with the right steps taken during estate planning. Avoiding the financial and/or emotional costs of probate, as well as the time the process can take, is one the most important reasons for estate planning in the first place.

Creating a trust is the primary and most effective ways to avoid probate, especially if you own real property. If you don’t own a house and you only have accounts that you can name beneficiaries to directly, then you may be able to avoid probate simply by properly naming beneficiaries on all your accounts.

Can Someone Realistically Try To Navigate The Probate Process On Their Own?

Individuals and families can and do try to go through the probate process without legal help. There are resources on the probate court’s websites that can help, and some paralegals can be hired to assist.

Unfortunately, many who try to navigate the process by themselves often end up seeking the help of fully qualified and experienced attorneys part-way through the process.  They have tried to do everything by themselves and end up needing even more help as a result.

It is far easier when everything is done properly from the start, as large and complicated legal messes can result when things go badly for independents trying to navigate probate on their own.

When people try to navigate the process entirely by themselves, probate can take significantly longer. They are unfamiliar with the process, and the people, involved in the court. Specialized attorneys, on the other hand, know the clerks and the probate trustees, and they know what the court and probate trustees are looking for. They will be able to get it done a lot more efficiently and painlessly than someone trying to do so by themselves.

What Are The Most Common Reasons Probate Disputes Arise? And How Do Disputes Affect The Probate Process?

One of the key reasons to avoid the probate process is the disputes that can arise. The most common reasons that probate disputes arise are beneficiaries disputing:

  • The will itself,
  • Who gets what assets,
  • What assets exist in the first place,
  • Whether or not the will or process is being administered properly,
  • And more…

For example, disputes can arise and escalate quickly when somebody is believed to be giving assets to themselves or a loved one in a preferential manner. It can also occur quite frequently when there are delays. For example, if a beneficiary is doing nothing, and failing to distribute assets in the trust.

Unfortunately, these probate disputes all occur frequently and are best avoided with full and professional estate planning and/or distribution with the assistance of a qualified trust attorney.


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