What Are The Common Misconceptions People Have About The Probate Process?
One common misconception people have is that at least one dollar must be left to their heirs, which is untrue; no one has to leave anything to anyone, with the exception of a spouse. If someone was married—even if they hadn’t seen that person in decades—that spouse will have various rights to the estate of their deceased spouse. If two people were married at the time of the death of one of them, then the surviving spouse will receive a large share of the estate. Because of this, it’s very dangerous for married people to assume that they can simply create a will to ensure that their assets will go where they want them to go.
Another misconception is that the probate process is very expensive. As a general rule, there are sliding scales and hourly rates. In my experience, the total fees and costs for an average-sized estate will be three percent or less than the total.
Is Probate Necessary?
If someone has assets that do not go by operation of law to a beneficiary, then there is no choice but to put those assets through the probate process. For example, if someone died with a house in their name and their family members want to transfer that asset, they will have to probate it first.
Does All Of The Decedent’s Property Have To Go Through Probate?
If a decedent’s property is not left to a beneficiary or joint survivor, or dictated by a transfer on death agreement, by contract, or by operation of law, then it must be probated.
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