Estates can be orderly or chaotic; the individual determines the state of affairs. A simple will can make life easier for everyone. Too many people keep putting off drafting a will until the future. Kicking the can down the street has consequences that are rough for beneficiaries. Group legal plans promote simple wills as a pre-paid legal services benefit, and plan members should not ignore this chore.
The Probate Hassle
The mission of the probate court is to assure the distribution of the estate to the rightful beneficiaries. Dying intestate, without a will, makes matters difficult as the state tumbles into probate bureaucracy. Probate court can be a spider’s web of regulations and procedures. The court appoints an administrator to supervise the estate’s distribution. That person reports directly to the court. Seeking court approval for various actions will slow down the process. It can take months before the estate is formally closed. Continue reading