Having the right estate plan in place for your family is essential to avoiding family fights, probate court, and years and money wasted when you’re gone. Estate planning done right means taking the time now to update a will and living trust that will determine what happens to your estate after you die. Are your family, business, and estate protected if you were to pass away? Can you avoid probate court? Click to watch the video above to learn more, and find out if you’re protected by taking our Estate Planning Audit.
What is Probate Court?
Probate court is a lengthy, expensive, uncertain, and sometimes scary process. Probate court refers to the specialized court type that deals with property, assets, and debt of a person after they died. People, unfortunately, die every day, and probate court is often overrun with cases that can take up to six months or longer. The best thing you can do to avoid probate court is to plan out what you want and how you want things to fall after you’re gone. Probate court involves money, time, attorneys, and it all can be avoided.
We hear nightmare stories from large estates, small estates, and everything in between. On the chance that you leave a house, some accounts, insurance, money, etc., estate planning is essential to making sure you preserve your legacy for your kids and kin.
One nightmare story that hit national news just this month was in regards to the passing of Tony Hsieh, the former Zappos CEO and important staple of the Las Vegas and DTLV community. Tony was worth an estimated $700 million when he died without a will. His family no longer gets to decide how his estate and assets will be divided. That is now in the hands of the probate court assigned to his case. Instead of being able to access and divide up his estate in a matter of months, his family will now likely have to wait a year or more, plus deal with costly court fees, attorneys’ fees, and other unknown delays along the way.
It’s tough to see this type of fallout from such a widely loved local celebrity, but Tony is not alone. Prince also died without a will, as well as Amy Winehouse. Further, many celebrities had a will but did not update it before their untimely deaths. For example, Heath Ledger’s five-year-old will left his entire estate to his parents and sister but did not include his daughter who was born after the will was written. It is unfortunately these types of cases that remind the rest of us to get our estate documents in place. Even if the rest of us don’t have an estate worth millions, the estates we have are still important and we don’t want to waste any part of that estate in probate court.
Why Estate Planning Matters
We’ve seen cases that go through probate court for years, and it all could’ve been avoided with one signature. Probate court can be avoided with simple thinking ahead and getting that will and trust updated regularly. Discover the difference between a will and a trust by clicking this link.
You plan your whole life for success and happiness, make sure you don’t forget to plan that final chapter. Let the estate planning attorneys at Michaelson & Associates help you get that last chapter of your life in place. Contact us here or call us at 702-731-2333 to schedule a free first-time consultation. We have offices in Henderson, Summerlin, and Reno and are ready to help you protect your legacy and your family.
If you like the video you saw above, tune into Aging & Awesome for more Estate Planning and Senior Law topics. Season 5 of Aging & Awesome airs Sunday, February 7, 2021, at 3:30pm on Fox-5 Las Vegas.