Probate is a legal process that you should understand when you are planning your estate.
Most people express their final wishes in a Last Will. If you do this, the Will must be admitted to probate. During this process the probate court will determine the validity of the Will and supervise the administration of the estate.
In this post we will look at some of the drawbacks that go along with the probate process in Cincinnati.
Drawbacks of Probate Process in Cincinnati
Probate is not free. The probate court will charge a filing fee, and the executor is entitled to payment for his or her time and trouble. Because of the fact that final taxes must be paid, the executor will often bring in a tax accountant. Probate is a legal process that takes place under court supervision, so a probate lawyer will also be retained in many instances.
Property appraisal expenses can present themselves, and there are liquidation charges and other ad hoc expenditures. Expenses that are paid during probate come off the top of the value of the estate, reducing the inheritances that will be received by the heirs.
The heirs to the estate will not receive their inheritances until the estate has been probated and closed. The exact duration the probate process is going to vary on a case-by-case basis. At a minimum, it will take a number of months for probate to run its course.
Complicated cases can take years. You are probably aware of the infamous Anna Nicole Smith versus the Marshall family case. This disputed estate case started out in probate court and was resolved by the Supreme Court about 15 years later, after both Smith and E. Pierce Marshall had passed away.
Lack of Privacy
People generally like to conduct their financial affairs in private. You don’t want everyone in town to know how you are handling your money when you are living. At the same time, you probably do not want everyone to know how your assets were distributed after your passing.
Probate is a public proceeding, and everything that takes place becomes a matter of public record. Anyone and everyone can access probate records, so you lose all privacy.
Probate does come along with these drawbacks, but it is not something that is entirely negative. The powers that be make every effort to provide a streamlined and effective probate process. However, there are certain pitfalls that are inherently present.
If you would like to avoid the probate process in Cincinnati, it is possible. Assets can be transferred to people on your inheritance list outside of this process if you take the right steps.
To discuss probate avoidance strategies with a licensed Cincinnati estate planning attorney, contact our firm to schedule a consultation.