I represented a gentleman named as the personal representative in his aunt's will. It was his understanding of my client and his family that this was a "Simple Will." While the Will was very basic, he soon found out that there was nothing "Simple" about it. I did not know the aunt and I had not prepared her estate plan.
The Will left property and money to only three beneficiaries. One was my client, one was his cousin and the other was a charity. The aunt's estate had a value of approximately $500,000.00 including her home, bank accounts, her car and personal property. The aunt left her home to my client and his cousin, with everything else going to the charity. All very straight forward.
The problem arose for my client when he learned all of the steps necessary to get the property out of the estate and into his and the charity's hands. Especially troublesome to him was that a court would need to approve everything he did. Because his aunt had a "Simple Will" we needed to open a probate to make the "Simple Will" work.
This does not include the time my client needed to spend working with the real estate agent, getting the home ready for sale, opening estate accounts at the bank, and meeting with me in person and by telephone. I also spent significant time communicating the Court, the heirs, and the beneficiaries.
How long did this all take? The Probate opened in March and closed in July of the next year. The Probate of this "Simple Will" took 16 months. The time this Probate took is not standard but is not far from unusual.
If you have a "Simple Will" or are thinking that a "Simple Will" is right for you, give us a call at 503-850-8345 to start a conversation about better options for you and your family.
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