This is a news flash to most people, "A Will must be Probated!" Most people think that if they simply have a Will, they will not need their estate probated. This is a common misconception with the general public. Although many people do not have their will probated, without an official closing of their estate by the court, there estate remains in an open state. Additionally, without probate the assets of the Estate, even if distributed, are always available to creditors. A probate attorney will have to take a number of steps to get an estate ready for probate. This ranges from getting the names and addresses of all family members within a certain range from the decedent. Additionally, the probate attorney will have to gather the addresses of all creditors of the estate. He will then take that information along with some other forms to court, along with the Will, so that the judge can determine if an estate should be opened and the Will admitted. This probate of a Will process has some advantages, but it also is an expensive task.
Now that you know that Wills must be probated, what should you do next? You should contact an Estate Planning Attorney to advise you on the best plan for you. You may be better served with a trust to dispose of your assets. Generally, a trust is cheaper over all than the cost to have a will drafted and then probated. You can find out more in my article, "What Does a Will Cost?" To speak to a knowledgeable attorney for free about your plan, call;
Law Office of Jonathan W. Cole
5013 W. 95th St.
Oak Lawn, IL 60453