Probate is both costly and time-consuming and often presents a difficult procedural headache for surviving family members. In some limited instances probate may be preferable—but these are very much the exception. On the whole, it is typically advisable to take the necessary steps to avoid probate altogether, but the following represent the advantages and disadvantages of probate:
Length: typically 7-12 months from death to discharge of the estate and many times longer. In most cases, probate simply cannot be administered in less than 7 months.
Cost: between legal fees, courts costs, notice and publication fees, probate often costs between 4% and 10% of the gross estate
Hassle: length/cost (as mentioned above) but the inherent court procedure, potential hearings and court filings require ongoing attention for several months
Privacy: probate is public record, accessible to any and all
While in some exceptional circumstances probate may be desired, we typically plan to avoid it completely. At Schleiffarth Law Firm, LLC we work with each client to create an estate plan that matches their goals and avoids the time, cost and headache of probate.