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If you die without a Will, your assets will have to go through the Probate process before being distributed to your family. That could mean years of delays and substantial taxes and fees. Or, if your Will wasn’t drafted properly or is out of date, that could lead to similar Probate nightmares. A LegalShield Plan starts at $24.95/month. It covers you, your spouse and your children and comes with a Will drafted by your provider lawyer.
Average length of Probate process for estates without a Will. Source: WealthCounsel.com, Estate Planning survey.
Average percentage of estate value paid in fees for Probate court if a Will is not in place. Source: Investopedia.com, "Avoiding Unnecessary Probate Costs."
The average amount spent on legal and accounting fees to settle an estate. Source: EstateExec, Estate Planning Surevey.
Having a Will does not avoid Probate. But, a well-drafted Will can make it go faster. If you die without a Will, most, if not all, of your assets will have to go through the Probate process before it can be distributed to your family. Even if you have a Will, if it’s not been drafted properly and paired with other Estate Planning essentials like a Trust, you may cause your family to spend a significant amount of time and money they otherwise could have avoided.
Using clear, unambiguous language and following the law to the letter is critical. Because laws vary from state to state, it’s also important the lawyer who prepares your Will is familiar with the laws and practices of your state. Having a lawyer create your Will ensures it’s done correctly and that your family gets the money-saving benefits of proper Estate Planning.
Transferring assets to a Trust allows them to pass without the hassle of Probate.
Trusts are a powerful tool to avoid Probate and available for estates of any size. A Trust can be designed with many goals in mind, including to help you:
A lawyer can create the right Trust for your specific situation so there are no costly surprises for your family after you pass.
A Will communicates your wishes for your estate—your financial and physical assets. More crucially, questions of guardianship of children and even pets will be left to the courts if you die without a Will.
If you die without a Will or any Estate Plan, your family may be left to fight it out. Adding a difficult and costly Probate process to that situation can only make matters worse.
An experienced lawyer can create an estate plan that smooths out the Probate process and dramatically reduces the chances of family conflict.
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Finding solutions to your legal issues doesn’t have to be stressful, complicated or expensive. LegalShield puts the power of legal representation within reach of any individual, family, or business. We work hard to make it easy, simple, and affordable to get the legal help you need, when you need it.