Probate and wills – to many people, these each sound like completely
foreign concepts. If you are one of the many Americans who don’t
have a solid grasp on all the relevant legalese, know that you are not
alone. But rather than staying in the dark about such an important topic,
keep reading to discover some of the most common myths and misconceptions
The State Gets Everything If There Is No Will
This is perhaps the most common misconception of them all – if you
pass away without leaving a will behind, the state is going to collect
and benefit from all your assets. While it
is true that state law will come into play to determine how the will should
be followed, this does not mean that the government is first in line to
inherent your assets. In most cases, your spouse and children will be
chosen as inheritors for just about everything you have. The state is
only going to become an inheritor when you have no living relatives, and
even then it is not a guarantee.
Probate Will Take Years
The time it takes to get an estate through probate varies, depending on
how much needs to be sorted out and the number of unforeseen complications.
Yes, this could be a while, especially if there is a delay period for
creditors to make claims on assets, but no, it is not guaranteed to take
years. One of the best ways to ensure your probate process goes as quickly
as possible is to retain the help of a professional probate attorney as
soon as you need to start handling the estate.
Costs Are Going to Go Through the Roof
No one likes to hear that they are going to have to dip into their own
savings for legal fees, so the rumor about expensive probate already had
traction before it hit the ground. However, if the estate you are dealing
with is quite small, probate costs could be reduced through shortcuts.
A smart tip is to find a probate lawyer who offers free consultations
and see if you can get an idea of how much their services and probate
could feasibly cost.
Leaving Nothing Behind for Your Spouse
If you do not want to leave any inheritance for your spouse, you might
think that creating a will settles that matter, but you should think again.
In many circumstances, your surviving spouse will have the legal opportunity
to take portions of your estate after you pass away, even if you had intentionally
left them nothing. This is sometimes called “taking against the
will” and may be avoided with the help of an estate planning attorney
and certain waivers.
The bottom line is that if you are going to have to sort through the probate
process, you shouldn’t do it alone. There are so many myths and
misconceptions about probate out there, you might become frustrated trying
to sort the truth from the lies, and lose sight of what really needs to
happen for the process to be completed. If you need help from a Fort Myers
probate attorney, be sure to
contact Your Advocates today. Our attorneys have years of collective experience helping the people
of Florida with the probate process, and we are standing by to support