The probate process can be daunting, and many people create their estate plan to limit the impact that probate can have. How can probate impact your estate?
Probate can be costly.
Because of court involvement, a wide variety of different fees apply to the probate of an estate. Court fees, appraisal fees for valuable assets like houses, businesses or boats, attorney costs, executor fees and more may apply.
The probate process can take significant time.
The length of time that the probate process takes depends on the complexity of the estate. For some estates, the process may be completed in just a few weeks. However, in other cases probate can take months.
Probate makes your estate a matter of public record.
Grief is a private matter, but the probate process makes the distribution of an estate public because it passes through the courts. This can limit your privacy and the privacy of your beneficiaries.
Probate could lead to the court declaring your estate plan invalid.
It is essential that a will follow a wide variety of legal guidelines. For example, a will in the state of Georgia must include the signatures of two witnesses. If a will does not meet those standards or if one of your loved ones attempts to challenge the validity of the will, though, the probate process could involve questioning the validity of your will, resulting in an earlier version of your estate plan being used or the will being discarded entirely.
If you have questions about how probate could impact your estate, you may want to speak to an attorney about your estate plan and the ways that your plan can limit that impact.