The (Claimed) Advantages of Probate

These are the purported advantages to probate:

  • The court protects the heirs and beneficiaries.
  • Probate cuts off the claims of creditors after a specific period of time
  • The transfer of title is a public record that prevents problems with title companies.
  • Disputes are settled under the protection and guidance of the probate court.
  • The estate is a separate taxpayer, and some tax savings may result.
  • The costs are deductible for income tax or "death tax" purposes, if properly planned.

The (Very Real) Disadvantages

  • Probate proceedings can be time-consuming, and suffer from all kinds of unnecessary delays. Even the simplest matters may take several court dates over a period of several months to resolve.
  • They can be expensive too, costing an estimated figure of up to five-percent (5%) of the total value of the estate in filing fees, court-appointed appraiser fees, attorney's fees, and personal representative's fees.
  • These proceedings are also completely public. All assets, disputes, and court hearings are open to public inspection and review. Unscrupulous predators and con artists might try to use this information to pursue someone's inheritance, especially if the heir is young or has never handled large sums of money before.

Probate is entirely voluntary and can be avoided by proper planning. When that planning is properly done, it is a gift to the people you love the most, by sparing them the cost and inconvenience of probate. Let us show you how.

Thanks to Robert Bergman for information adapted for this article.

If you wish to avoid these perils of probate and make things as easy as posible for your loved ones when you're gone, call the Marietta and Atlanta probate lawyers at GeorgiaFamilyLaw.com : Worrall Law LLC at 770-425-6060.