The probate process can be costly and time-consuming. It isn’t something anyone wants to deal with, however, most people will have to deal with it at one point or another. Learn more about what to expect during the probate process in our latest post!
If you are forced to deal with the probate process, you might find yourself spending money and getting more involved with everything than you planned. While you might expect to receive money, the opposite can, in fact, be true. In some cases, the probate process can be expensive and time-consuming. In our latest post, we will discuss 4 costs to expect during the probate process in Lees Summit so that you will be able to best prepare yourself!
When someone passes away, the executor of their estate will need to find and pay all of the deceased’s outstanding debts. In most states, the executor of the estate is required to publish a notice of death in the local newspaper, alerting any creditors not known to the courts or to the executor. These creditors will have a limited amount of time to file a claim against the estate for amounts they are owed. It is only after all debts have been paid that the executor of the estate is free to distribute assets left behind by the departed.
If inheritance has to go through the probate courts, there are going to be some costs. The executor has to validate the will, submit a petition, and ask the courts to review all assets, debts, and taxes owed. There will often be a number of hearings to discuss the validity of the will, do hear any objections, and to make sure assets are distributed as they should be. As such, the court will charge a number of fees while facilitating this process. These fees vary case by case and state by state. If you are dealing with a larger estate, you can expect these costs to be much higher than if you were dealing with a smaller one.
Even after death, you can’t avoid the taxman. The executor of the estate must file any pay income taxes for the year of the decedent’s death. They must also check to see if any estate taxes need to be paid. If so, these taxes are typically due within nine months of the deceased’s passing. The property taxes for any real estate owned will need to be kept up to date in order to avoid foreclosure of the property.
The cost of a probate attorney can run up to 5% of an estate’s value. While you may not always need an attorney to represent you, in many cases, it makes the process go much more smoothly. When you hire an attorney, you can be assured that all debts, creditors, and beneficiaries will be properly taken care of.
Holding Costs on Real Property
If the estate holds real estate there are a lot more costs involved. Every house or property will have taxes due the county that rack up for every month the estate owns the home. There is insurance on this property and if the property is vacant, the correct insurance for vacant property can get expensive. Some people leave all the utilities on, incurring a monthly cost there, although some do take time to winterize the property and shut it all down, just keep in mind no heat can mean broken pipes and no electricity can mean flooding and mold if there is a sump pump in the basement. One way to limit these holding costs is to get the real property sold as quickly as possible and the proceeds sitting in a bank making interest rather than incurring fees.
In order to avoid probate, an individual can either set up a trust, own property in joint tenancy with the right of survivorship or set up beneficiaries when creating the assets. This is particularly true with stocks and bank accounts. By avoiding probate in Lees Summit, you will be able to avoid a number of the costs people often face.
When a property is in probate, it can be tied up for months. In addition to the costs above, if a property is in question, the executor of the estate will need to pay the taxes, insurance, and mortgage on the property to keep it from going into foreclosure.