white knight chess piece

Strategic Guidance For Life’s Next Move

Answers To Common Probate Questions

Probate can be confusing, and there are a lot of common misconceptions about the process. That’s why we’ve decided to provide answers to probate questions that clients regularly ask us. If you have additional questions after reading this page, you can contact Legacy Law Firm, LLC, and we would be happy to provide case-specific answers and advice during a free initial consultation.

Is probate expensive?

The short answer is that it depends. While there are some baseline costs, the bulk of probate fees is typically based on a percentage of the value of the assets that pass through probate. Between legal fees, administration fees, court costs, filing fees, appraisers, etc., it is not uncommon for somewhere around 10% of the value of your probate assets to be lost in administration.

How long does probate take?

This varies depending on the assets in the estate and if there are creditor issues or disputes among your heirs. The average today is 12-18 months to complete a probate estate.

Are probate records public?

Yes. While confidential information like Social Security numbers and dates of birth are redacted, the vast majority of information about a probate is public record.

If I have a comprehensive will, does that mean my estate won’t need to go through probate?

Unfortunately, no. This is a widely held misconception. However, it is still very important and beneficial to create a will, and having one will likely make the probate process faster, easier and less stressful for everyone involved.

How can I avoid probate?

This is one of the most common questions we get asked. Common tools we use to avoid probate include the creation of trusts, managing beneficiary designations and ensuring jointly owned assets are set to pass to the survivor upon the death of either owner.

What is required if I own real property in more than one state?

It is somewhat common in America to own a vacation home or other real property outside the state where you normally reside. This real estate will typically need to be addressed using a process called ancillary probate. The person serving as executor will likely need the help of an attorney located in the same county as the real property, but attorneys who offer ancillary probate services can often take care of most business virtually or over the phone so that the executor can avoid lengthy travel.

You may be able to avoid the need for ancillary probate by placing the real property into a living trust. To understand your full list of options and obligations, discuss your real property holdings with your estate planning attorney.

Get Started With A Free Initial Consultation

If you have probate questions or are in need of qualified legal assistance in this area, contact Legacy Law Firm, LLC. We serve Cuyahoga Falls and surrounding areas of Ohio, and we are pleased to offer free initial consultations to all prospective clients. To schedule yours, reach out online or call 330-529-7070 today.