Probate is Lengthy and Time-Consuming
Probate can be a very long and arduous process for your family. It usually takes at least eighteen months to complete; in some cases, probate proceedings go on for years. Even under the best circumstances, it’s almost impossible to fully process an estate through probate court in under twelve months due to the complexity of the process and stringent court requirements.
Your Estate in Probate Becomes Public Record
Whatever pains you took during your lifetime to maintain your privacy will be irrelevant if your estate winds up in Death Probate. All records of probate proceedings and every detail of your estate are open to public scrutiny. Anyone who’s interested can see your probate file which includes details of every asset you owned at death, the name of every creditor you had (plus the amount you owe), and exactly what each of your heirs is intended to inherit. Unscrupulous salespeople often use this information to sell goods and services to grieving family members who have inherited money or other assets. If you owned a business, even confidential business information can be revealed during the probate process, making your surviving business vulnerable to competitors after your death.
Adding to the already time-consuming and expensive process of Death Probate, if you own property in more than one state, a new probate must be filed for each state in which you owned property. Because each state has jurisdiction over property within its borders, this “ancillary probate” requires that the same Death Probate process be followed, and a local attorney be retained to settle the estate.