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A Common Will Misconception: A Will Does Not Avoid Probate



I read it on the Internet so it must be true.  NOT TRUE.

Don’t believe everything you read online, including information about the legal process.  A recent Reuter’s article, “Dearly beloved: Prince’s death prompts uptick in wills” contains misleading and incorrect information which can end up costing you more money and time then is necessary.

The article discusses the increase in the number of Wills being done since Prince’s death without an Estate Plan misstates how a Will works.

Wills have to go through Probate!

A Will has to go through Probate Court. It does NOT avoid Probate Court, but GUARANTEES that you go through Probate Court.  The Reuters article had misleading statements:

The Reuters article when discussing those who have Wills versus people that die without a Will states, “Prince’s relatives meanwhile face the expense, time and the process of state ordered probate”.

They estimated that approximately 67% of Americans over 55 do not have an Estate Plan. It is estimated that only 22% under age 55 have an Estate Plan.

The article further states, “the cost differential of having a Will versus going through Probate can be staggering.” “If I told you, you would fall off your chair. I’ve seen Probate costs balloon past $50,000.00 for an Estate of $1 million.“

Again, a Will guarantees that you will go through Probate Court. It does not avoid Probate Court. It guarantees the expense, delay and publicity of Probate Court.

It is amazing how much wrong and/or misleading information is out there.

How do you avoid Probate Court?

If you have a Living Trust, and have all of your assets are titled into the Living Trust, then your assets can avoid Probate Court.

If you have a Will then all of the assets titled in your name have to go through Probate Court. Simple, but commonly misunderstood.

This simple misstatement by a leading international news agency leads people to believe that they just need to simply create a will and they can avoid the publicity, time and expense of Probate Court. With access to online legal documents, many people will mistakenly create their own wills and still have to go through Probate Court.  We hope you seek proper legal advice.

At the Law Firm of Steven Andrew Jackson, Attorney and Counsellor at Law, we have helped hundreds of families protect themselves and their loved ones, avoid Estate Taxes and Probate Costs, and keep their Estate Plans current with the law through The Customized Protective Estate Planning Solution™.