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The pros and cons of probate

Nobody wants to probate their loved one's estate. The months after losing a loved one are emotionally difficult, and trying to navigate a complicated legal process on top of this can seem like it's next to impossible. Nevertheless, as much as the probate process is loathed, there are some benefits.

First, let's take look at why probate can be such a headache for the executor and potential beneficiaries of an estate. These so-called "cons" of probate are the reason why Tennessee residents go to great lengths in their estate planning to render probate unnecessary. Perhaps the most significant of these negative points relates to the waiting period of one or more months that the estate must go through. This time period is there so that those with potential claims against the estate have enough time to come forward. Even more delays will present themselves if someone decides to challenge the decedent's will.

Another problem with probate relates to the court fees, attorneys' fees and other fees that arise from the process. Although these fees are paid out by the estate in most cases, they will ultimately reduce the amount of money that heirs can receive.

Second, the benefits of probate are clear. For one, the court will oversee the process of identifying heirs and distributing assets according to the decedent's will. Without probate and court supervision, there's a chance that this process could fall into extreme disorganization. In fact, it might not even get done and heirs might never receive the money that their loved one intended for them. Furthermore, if there's ever any question about the validity of a will, the court will ensure that the will is appropriate and legally valid.

Before managing the probate process for a loved one's estate, Tennessee executors may want to contract the services of an estate administration attorney. In fact, such an attorney can manage the bulk of the process and alleviate the executor of the pressures, stresses and organizational responsibilities of probate.

Source: Findlaw, "What is Probate Court?," accessed April 14, 2017

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