The Shock and Awe of Probate

    The Shock and Awe of Probate

    The force which confuses or destroys an enemy's perception of the battlefield and removes their will to fight is known as "Shock and Awe". It is similar to what many beneficiaries to an estate experience when someone dies. Upon the death of a loved one, many beneficiaries' expectations of receiving an immediate family inheritance is often paralyzed by their own shock and awe once encountering the probate battlefield of attorneys and court proceedings that they must endure and the significant cost and time it required to salvage what is left of their inheritance. Should beneficiaries become unable to afford the cost of probate, the shock and awe oftentimes removes any will they might have had to pursue and collect their rightful inheritance.

    Sadly, many people fail to consider what will happen to their assets should they die with or without a last will and testament. In Florida, if someone dies with or without a will, a probate proceeding will most likely be required before beneficiaries can receive any entitlement to estate assets. If beneficiaries do not have the funds to hire an attorney to open a probate proceeding, a portion or the entire amount of the assets may be lost.

    There are many ways to transfer your assets to loved ones immediately upon your death without the requirement of probate. For example you could prepare a revocable living trust or a life estate deed for your home. Other ways are by naming beneficiaries on death on bank accounts, life insurance policies, and stocks. Furthermore, the cost to prepare your estate planning prior to your death will normally cost substantially less than the cost your beneficiaries will have to pay for probate.

    Don't leave you loved ones facing the surprise shock and awe of a complex and expensive probate court action after you have died and subject them to the possibility of losing all that you have worked so hard for throughout your entire lifetime. Do your estate planning now.

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