How to Reduce Probate Fees
Probate records are created when an individual dies. These records are used to dictate the distribution of the deceased’s assets. In many cases, there is only a minimal probate cost, as the process of determining probate is simple if the deceased left a will, or if their estate was small and they have a clear next of kin, such as a spouse or a child.
However, in cases of more complex estates, there may be probate fees beyond the basic probate cost for the issue of a certificate. If an individual dies without leaving behind a will, then the courts may need to step in to determine how that person’s assets should be divided, and this is where probate fees start to kick in. The best way to reduce the potential probate cost faced by your next of kin is to prepare a will, and make sure that the will is checked over by a solicitor.
If your estate includes any major assets, such as property, or a business, then you should speak with your attorney in order to make sure that your wishes are clearly defined, and can be legally honoured. The legal fees that you will incur for this may be off-putting, but they will be worthwhile – especially when you consider that you will be saving your next of kin from probate fees, which would be an extra, and unnecessary, worry for them at what is already a difficult time.
Probate is an unpleasant process, but it does protect families from arguments and attempted fraud at a time that may otherwise be exceedingly difficult for them. For that alone, it is a valuable process.
Cases where probate is not needed
Probate may not be needed, if you have very little assets to leave behind, or if you are married and plan to leave everything to your spouse. However, if you wish to divide your assets in a specific way, and want to make sure that those wishes are honoured, then you will need to go through probate and therefore incur some probate cost.
A little planning now, and a consultation with your attorney or solicitor, will go a long way towards making your probate case clear cut. It’s sad that probate fees exist, as they do create extra worry and stress for the loved ones that you leave behind, but the process is designed to protect people, and make sure that the deceased’s assets go to the right person.
Fortunately, it is possible to minimize the probate cost, and for most people all it takes is the preparation of a single document. If you are fortunate enough to have a business, or a housing empire, to pass on, then there may be more work involved, but in cases such as those it’s even more important to make sure that the process is done correctly, so that the people that you want to benefit from your assets are the ones that get them.