A Will can be an effective Estate Plan. If it is properly written it can properly control your assets, the assets can go to the people that you want the way that you want, and you can have the right people in control of the Will.
A Will will push your assets through Probate aka Probate Court. Some of the downsides of Probate Court include that the terms of the Will and all of your assets are public record. Therefore people will know how much you have, to whom it goes, and who is in control of the Will, which is public record.
Probate Court can take a long time to administer a Will. The Administrative Office of Courts in Raleigh, NC tells us that the average time can be 18 to 24 months from the time you put the Will in the Court until the time that the assets are moved out from the control of Probate Court.
Court Costs are a fee that is a charge by the State. They are based upon the amount of your assets that are moved through the Probate. Those fees can be up to $6,000 per person or $12,000 per couple.
Administrative Expense, which is often Attorney’s Fees, can be 5%-7% of the value of your assets that move through the estate. In other words the attorney can get $50,000 to $70,000 dollars as a legal fee for administering a million dollar probate.
It is also easier to attack a Will in Probate as opposed to a Trust aka Living Trust, which is not in a Probate.
Again, if you have a Will, it guarantees that your estate will go into Probate. Some people want to avoid the publicity, delay, cost and wear and tear of Probate aka Probate Court.
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™.