In a recent post on our blog, we discussed how probate court is a normal aspect of the estate administration process, and why it does not always mean something bad. However, there is another side to probate that you and other California residents may find unpleasant. This usually occurs when there is an estate dispute.
The Balance has outlined several reasons it can be in your best interest to avoid a lengthy probate process:
- Probate court can be costly. Keeping your involvement in probate court brief may prevent your costs from adding up.
- When a will is tied up in probate, you and the other beneficiaries will not have immediate access to your inheritance. You would need to wait until the dispute is resolved before receiving the money or property left to you in the will.
- Probate court is not a private matter. Your family’s financial details will become public record if the issue is taken to probate.
- A dispute in probate court will involve the interference in your family’s affairs by a judge, something which you and your relatives may wish to avoid.
Not all will disputes can avoid probate, but fortunately, not all disputes need to go to court either. The key lies in creating a will that is the least likely to result in disagreements, and avoiding disputes if possible. You and your relatives may achieve this by communicating with each other, keeping an open mind during estate planning discussions and making compromises when a disagreement arises.