If you've ever been through probate you know the answer to this question. People want to avoid probate because it can be a difficult and costly process.
The following is a transcript of the video above:
Hey folks, Don Rolfe here, and today I'm discussing why it is that people want to avoid probate.
If you have any questions about this or any other estate planning topic, please feel free to leave comments down below, or if it's a little more personal, just go to myestateplanmeeting.com and you can schedule a time to talk to me for free and I will answer those questions for you.
But why people want to avoid probate. I get an awful lot of clients coming in requesting that we set up a trust for them solely for the purpose, in their mind, to avoid probate.
I think it's great that they wanna get a trust, and for a lot of them, it does provide benefits way above and beyond avoiding probate. But the reason that they're coming in and asking is they've recently had a parent or an aunt or uncle pass away and they've had to serve as the personal representative if that person who passed away had a will, or if they didn't have a will, they served as the administrator of their estate. And they understand the grief, the time involved, having to deal with the courts, and publishing notices and getting the court to enter orders allowing them to pay off creditors or to transfer property and having to get signatures that have to end up being filed with the court and paying the court fees.
And they just, they really get it that having a will or not having a will and having to go through probate is a, it's a chore. I mean the first thing you have to do is you have to find the will of there is one, get a death certificate, and then pay a filing fee and file a bunch of documents with the court in order to get what are called your letters testamentary and a limited judgment. Or if there is no will, letters of administration that are basically the court granting you the authority to operate under the will.
So before you can go to a bank and find out how much money's in there, open a safe deposit box, talk to a credit card, before you can do anything, you have to file this stuff with the court and then wait for them to issue the order and the letters. And I'll tell you, depending upon what county you're in, here in the Portland metro area, it can be anywhere from as quick as the next day you may get your letters, or it might be four or five weeks waiting to get your letters. It's really a guessing game.
So that's why people are coming in to me and asking you know hey, how do I get rid of this probate thing? I just went through it. It was a yearlong process. I don't want people to have to do that after I'm gone. And the way we do that is we set 'em up with a revocable living trust that doesn't require the court intervention after you're gone and also provides for incapacity protections while you are still alive but perhaps in a coma or you've slipped into dementia or something along those lines.
If you have questions, again, by the way, if you have any questions about this, you can chat with me for free. Just go to myestateplanmeeting.com, and I'll be, you can schedule a time that's convenient for you and I'll be happy to answer any questions about this or any other estate planning issue.
Now me personally, I don't want my family to have to go through probate after I'm gone, but me professionally, I mean I'm a probate attorney. This is something I make money doing, right? I don't like doing probates. I would much rather administer estate that has a trust attached to it. It's just a much simpler process.
Right now, I can think of a few probates in my time that have taken well over a year, and during that time, you're required to make constant updates to the court, there's filing fees for annual accountings, and it really is just not a fun process. But hey, I think that if that's something you wanna do and you're all-in for that, then by all means, do a probate. But we can definitely avoid those and make it much simpler for the administration of your estate.
Again, I'm Don Rolfe. If you'd like to chat, I'd love to hear from you. You can leave a message down below and I'd answer it there. If it's a little more personal, just go to myestateplanmeeting.com and schedule a time to chat with me for free. And I'll answer any questions that you have during that time. If you found this information helpful, I'd appreciate it if you'd like it. And if you know someone who might find this information helpful, then please do share this video with them. Until next time, take care, bye.