How much trouble can probate really be?
Your accounts, whether in a bank or investment institution, and your real property all have legal title requirements. Financial institutions and title companies will not release assets unless the legal requirements are satisfied. If you die with assets in your name, and if those assets total more than $50,000, then a probate court filing will be necessary. The pleadings are lengthy and must be mailed to all of your legal heirs-- whether you want them to receive any money or not. You can avoid the extra cost and time of a probate, by utilizing transfer on death designations or a trust. If minor children involved, the court costs can be several thousand dollars every year. Thus, be sure to have your assets properly titled so courts, banks and title companies do not make things difficult when you or your spouse or loved one dies.