When you are planning your estate you will hear about the possibility of implementing strategies that enable probate avoidance, but this may leave you with a somewhat mistaken impression. The reasons why avoiding probate can be attractive is because there are significant costs associated with probate, and the process can be lengthy. Clearly most people want to preserve the value of their estates, and if possible they would like to see their heirs receive their inheritances in a timely manner.
However, when you go out for a good meal you expect to pay a fair price and you don’t mind waiting for the food to be prepared properly. In a similar manner, the money that the estate must spend during probate is not wasted, and the time that it takes is justified.
The executor of the estate is going to be entitled to a fee, and he or she will bring in a probate attorney who will also charge a fee. And then depending on the specifics of the estate the executor may have to engage the services of an accountant, an appraiser or appraisers, and an estate liquidation company. All of these professional entities charge for their services, but at the same time, what they are doing is totally necessary.
As for the time involved, there are things that must be handled that don’t happen instantly. Creditors must be notified and paid, and the assets must be prepared for distribution. If the will is contested the interested parties will be afforded the opportunity to make their cases before the court. This can indeed take time, but that time is well spent if the rightful wishes of the deceased are ultimately carried out.