In some circles, “probate” almost feels like a dirty word. There are plenty of reasons that a person may prefer to skip the probate process, when possible, but it is a fact of wills and trust administration. The details of probate can vary somewhat from place to place. For example, probate in California will likely be different than probate here in North Carolina. There are such differences, in fact, that separate proceedings are necessary for an individual with estates in both states. This means that involving a probate lawyer from Wake County is usually the best choice for those who are local.
The process of probate is used to ensure that an individual’s estate is being administered in a way that conforms with probate laws. This is one of the reasons that a qualified probate lawyer can make such a difference. He or she can help family members and other heirs navigate the process and ensure that all steps are being completed properly.
Many of those who engage in estate planning do their best to avoid probate by creating a living trust. This helps to set out their wishes in advance and allows for a trustee to follow through on those wishes when the time comes. Those who simply have a will and those who have not planned their estates at all will have their assets go into probate.
One of the biggest concerns about probate is the fact that it is a public affair. Because the will or estate goes through the court system, the information that arises is available to the public. While this may not be a major concern for some people, others prefer to keep matters of money, property, and inheritance private.
Another common concern is cost. Between court costs, executor commissions, legal fees, bonds and other expenses that come up during the probate process, it is not uncommon to see these expenses eat up to 3 to 5% or more of the estate. For some families, these fees are negligible, but in many cases, these costs significantly affect the overall inheritance.
Finally, if you are involved with an estate that is going into probate in Wake County it is important to be aware that it can be a lengthy process. An accounting must be done of all the assets, creditors must be contacted regarding any money owed, and assets may need to be sold off. All of these things take time.
A good probate lawyer can help make this process smoother. He or she will also understand the concerns of those involved and will keep clients up to date and informed on the status of their case.
At Carolina Family Estate Planning we are here to assist you with your probate and estate administration needs. It is our goal to make navigating the complicated world of probate as easy as possible and help you carry out the wishes of your deceased loved one. If you have specific questions or you are not sure how to get started with the probate process, please give our office a call at (919)443-3035.