Avoid These 4 Common Probate Problems

millman law group common probate problems

Avoid these common probate problems to ensure a satisfying result.

When someone dies, they leave behind their assets. These assets comprise the individual’s estate and must be transferred to new ownership. Probate is the legal process that often transfers those estate assets to the chosen beneficiaries or heirs of the estate, as selected by the deceased before their death. Probate can also serve other functions, including authenticating the decedent’s Last Will and Testament, litigating any changes to the Will, identifying and valuing estate assets, and ensuring that taxes owed by the estate are paid. In the decedent’s Will, they name a personal representative (or executor) responsible for carrying out probate. If you have been named personal representative, consult the experienced lawyers at The Millman Law Group to avoid the following four common probate problems. 

Failing to Recognize When the Estate Qualifies for Summary Administration 

Many states, including Florida, offer an alternative to formal probate for qualifying estates. This alternative is summary administration. This process is a shortened probate process for estates under $75,000. If the estate qualifies, it will save you both time and money. However, you must quickly recognize whether the estate is eligible for this option to benefit from avoiding the formal probate process. 

Failing to Recognize Non-Probate Assets 

Not all assets are probate assets. Non-probate assets bypass the probate process altogether and may be distributed to beneficiaries immediately after the decedent’s death. Trust assets, jointly-held property, and life insurance policy proceeds are a few examples of non-probate assets. This is one of the common probate problems because failing to categorize assets correctly can hold up the entire probate process. This is especially true if the estate might otherwise qualify for small estate administration. 

Failing to Calculate Federal Estate and Gift Taxes Properly

Every estate is subject to federal estate and gift taxes. At the beginning of the probate process, you should determine whether the estate likely owes those taxes. By doing that early, you are better able to address claims against the estate in the future if the estate lacks sufficient assets to pay all claims. 

Failing to Work with The Professionals 

One of the ultimate probate problems you wish to avoid is failing to work with a professional to guide you through probate. Probating is often time-consuming and requires legal and financial expertise that the average person is unlikely to have. When you work with the knowledgeable estate planning lawyers at The Millman Law Group, you have the assistance of someone who knows what to expect during probate and how to draft necessary documents. A professional can help you avoid costly mistakes. If you work with a skilled estate planning attorney when constructing your own estate plan, you may even find a way to help your beneficiaries avoid probate altogether. 

Estate Planning Made Easy With Millman Law Group

Millman Law Group, PLLC is rare because it’s one of the only law firms that offer life planning in South Florida. From life care planning to the preparation of detailed estate plans, Millman Law Group has committed to serving Floridian elderly communities in Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Ocean Ridge, Hillsboro Beach, and many other areas since 2018. Our dedicated team also specializes in special needs trusts and catering to any age demographic because we know for certain it’s never too early to start preparing you and your family for your future. For the latest news in estate planning and elder care law, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and Pinterest. You can also contact us at 561-463-6480.