Today we’re going to talk about what’s worse than probate. But first, let’s talk about what it is exactly.
What is Probate?
Probate is where the judge has to get involved in carrying out an estate after death. This means nothing can be done until the judge signs the order appointing an executor. Wills are designed to go through this process. That’s just how the law works, and it ALWAYS adds extra expense and delay. Plus, it’s public record.
What’s Worse Than Probate?
Uncle Fred was getting older. He finally got to the point where he was not able to stay at home any longer. His favorite nephew in Missouri said, “Come live with me.” So Uncle Fred moved to Missouri and enjoyed several years there before passing away. After he was gone, the family realized that he still owned his house in Illinois, so they had to go to probate court in Illinois. Plus, he had moved his bank and investment accounts to Missouri when he went to live with his nephew. So now they were faced with probate court in Missouri, too!
So… what’s worse than Probate? Two probates!!
Anyone with assets in more than one state needs to plan carefully to make their plan work smoothly in each and every state. Watch out for timeshares, vacation homes, and ownership in family real estate. If overlooked, all of these could add time, expense, and hassle in the form of extra probate for you or your loved ones.
Good planning, especially with a Living Trust, works well across state lines.
You can read more about living trusts on our website by searching “living trusts.” Call us at 217-726-9200 with questions. In the meantime, be sure to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter with estate planning tips and up-to-date workshop information, or plan to attend an upcoming workshop.