What happens if you do not establish your Living Trust?  How much does Probate cost?   Probate costs thousands of dollars. Remember that every dollar that goes to pay probate is a dollar that is taken away from your family. Small estates are particularly vulnerable because even reasonable fees can eat up a large percentage of an estate's assets. Unfortunately, without a proper Trust, state law will dictate how your estate is to be distributed at death. State law sets the probate fees that attorneys and personal representatives can charge. Not only are these fees excessive, but the manner in which they arrive at the size of your estate bears little resemblance to its actual value.

How long does Probate take? Most people assume that their estates are simple and will glide through the system. Regardless of how simple an estate appears, it's very difficult to close a full probate because of all the steps that must be completed to the satisfaction of the court. Due to court budget cuts, it may take years before rightful heirs obtain their distributions.

Are the details of the estate kept private in Probate court? No. All probate proceedings are open to the public and everyone can have access to the details of your financial life. It lays out the names of all your beneficiaries and the amount and conditions of their inheritances. This information is often compiled and sold to those who use the information to sell products and services to vulnerable surviving family members.

Can probate hurt your business? Yes. Your business competitors will have access to confidential business information through probate.