The average person doesn’t know a lot about wills and probate, mostly because it’s an uncomfortable and difficult topic to discuss. However, it’s important to know the basics because many people are left with estates. Recognizing the truths and misconceptions can help you make informed decisions alongside your probate lawyer in Mississippi.
Here are three common misconceptions about wills, trusts, and probate.
1. If someone dies without a will, their property will go to the state.
It’s a common belief that if someone passes away without a will, all of their belongings will go to the state but this isn’t true. Each state is different with their own laws but in general, the laws look something like this: the spouse and children are the first to get the inheritance. The state only gets the estate if there are no relatives to be found.
2. The probate process takes years to complete.
We’ve all heard horror stories of estates taking years to be settled but this is uncommon. There is a short delay that gives time for creditors to file claims and once this period has passed, the estate can be closed. For this to happen, taxes and debts need to be paid and all assets collected and distributed in order. The only things that will hold up an estate are ongoing income, a large estate, or family disagreements.
3. Probate costs can end up being more than the estate’s worth.
Some people worry that if they hire a probate lawyer in Mississippi, they will end up paying more in fees than their estate is worth. This would be concerning, but it’s not true. For one, it’s not necessary for all states to go through the probate process. There are often “shortcuts” that can be taken to save time and money. Even if your estate requires a full probate, the cost will be minimal, and certainly, less than it cost to set up a Living Revocable Trust.
The laws surrounding estates can be confusing, especially because each state has its own rules and regulations. The best thing to do is hire a probate attorney to discuss your options. From there, you can determine the best route for your particular circumstances.