Q: Can you explain how the administration of a will works?
–Taking Care of Mom
A: Dear Taking Care:
In order for assets in a will to be transferred to a beneficiary, the will must first pass through the court process known as probate. During probate, the court oversees the will’s administration, ensuring your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
However, probate proceedings can drag out for months or even years, and your family will likely have to hire an attorney to represent them, which can result in costly legal fees that can drain your estate. During probate, there’s also the chance that one of your family members might contest your will.
Unlike wills, trusts don’t require your family to go through probate, which can save them time, money, and the potential for conflict. Plus, when you have a trust set up, the distribution of your assets happens in the privacy of our office—not the courtroom.
A living will is the best way to ensure your wishes for life-sustaining measures are respected and your family is not left making difficult decisions on your behalf. We can help you draft a legally sound living will and provide copies to the executor of your will, your loved ones and your health care providers.
This article is a service of Legacy Counsel PLC, a trusts and estates law firm in Saint Joseph, Michigan. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure that you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a Life & Legacy Planning Session. Or you can schedule your appointment online here. Mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.