When you are planning your estate, you should probably set aside austerity measures. Of course you do not want to spend money indiscriminately. But at the same time, this is an important matter. You are talking about arranging for the transfer of everything you own to those that you love the most. You want to make sure that it is done right. With this in mind, we would like to take a look at estate planning costs in general and particularly, the cost of probate.
The Last Will
To realize the impact the cost of probate can have on your estate, you should first understand something about the steps that must be taken when you use a last will to express your final wishes. The will is not something that is only distributed among people who are named in it. The executor of the estate must admit the will to probate. The probate court supervises the administration of the estate.
The heirs to the estate do not receive their inheritances until the estate has been through the entire probate process and closed.
You may assume that a last will is the simplest and most cost-effective estate planning device. However, you should consider probate costs if you choose to use a will to direct the transfer of your assets. You should know that the costs related to your estate plan don’t end at the point of document creation.
During probate, expenses are going to add up to consume a noticeable portion of the estate. The court will charge a filing fee. The executor is entitled to a fee for his or her time and trouble. Your executor is usually going to require the assistance of a probate lawyer. Final taxes and expenses must be paid, which will often require the assistance of a certified public accountant.
Property appraisals may be necessary so that the assets within the estate can be liquidated in preparation of distribution to the heirs. Appraisers and liquidation companies charge for their services.
This is just a brief overview of the costs that one could encounter during probate. The exact amount that it will end up costing is going to vary on a case-by-case basis. Clearly, the extent of the costs are tied to the value and complexity of the estate in question.
If you want to avoid the costs that go along with the probate process, you do have other options. It is possible to arrange for the transfer of your monetary resources to your loved ones outside of probate.
One very popular choice is the revocable living trust. There are relatively nominal legal expenses involved in the creation of this type of trust compared to probate expenses, and in the long run you will be getting maximum value.
In addition to the avoidance of probate costs, a revocable living trust would also facilitate a more timely transfer of assets to your heirs.
For more information or to discuss your own estate planning needs, contact the Zimmer Law Firm today at 513.721.1513 for a consultation.