If you die without a Will, your assets will have to go through the Probate process before being distributed to your family. That could mean years of delays and substantial taxes and fees. Or, if your Will wasn’t drafted properly or is out of date, that could lead to similar Probate nightmares.

2 Years – Average length of Probate process for estates without a Will.

3-7% – Average percentage of estate value paid in fees for Probate court if a Will is not in place.

$12,400 – The average amount spent on legal and accounting fees to settle an estate.

*Source: EstateExec Estate Planning Survey

Make Probate Faster With a Will

Having a Will does not avoid Probate. But, a well-drafted Will can make it go faster. If you die without a Will, most, if not all, of your assets will have to go through the Probate process before it can be distributed to your family. Even if you have a Will, if it’s not been drafted properly and paired with other Estate Planning essentials like a Trust, you may cause your family to spend a significant amount of time and money they otherwise could have avoided.

Using clear, unambiguous language and following the law to the letter is critical. Because laws vary from state to state, it’s also important the lawyer who prepares your Will is familiar with the laws and practices of your state. Having a lawyer create your Will ensures it’s done correctly and that your family gets the money-saving benefits of proper Estate Planning.

Use Trusts to Avoid Probate

Transferring assets to a Trust allows them to pass without the hassle of Probate.

Trusts are a powerful tool to avoid Probate and available for estates of any size. A Trust can be designed with many goals in mind, including to help you:

  • Manage Estate Tax
  • Designate Heirs
  • Care for Children with Special Needs
  • Care for Minor Children
  • Give to Charity

A lawyer can create the right Trust for your specific situation so there are no costly surprises for your family after you pass.

Reduce Family Conflict

A Will communicates your wishes for your estate—your financial and physical assets. More crucially, questions of guardianship of children and even pets will be left to the courts if you die without a Will.

If you die without a Will or any Estate Plan, your family may be left to fight it out. Adding a difficult and costly Probate process to that situation can only make matters worse.

An experienced lawyer can create an Estate Plan that smooths out the Probate process and dramatically reduces the chances of family conflict.