Most people are not familiar with the differences between a will and a trust. A will is only an invitation into a Probate proceeding and involves (1) 18-24+ months where all assets are frozen during the pendency of the probate proceeding; (2) exorbitant costs; (3) a sacrifice in personal time and energy; (4) stress. In reference to costs, there is a statutory Probate fee schedule that always seems to shock people when they learn how this system works. For example, if you and your wife own a home with a fair market value of $500,000-irrespective of the balance between how much you own and how much you owe, the Probate court assesses the gross valuation-the full $500,000, which equates to a minimum statutory assessed fee of $26, 000. This does not factor in court filing fees, appraiser fees, creditor claims and attorney extraordinary fees, which invariably tack on multiple tens of thousands of dollars in most instances. An Estate Plan also ensures you avoid the expense and uncertainty of court proceedings otherwise required should either of you become incapacitated through illness, accident or a disability.
Mark Swatik Esq. offers my clients a free consultation that is very helpful in educating them on the purpose of estate planning, as well as the privileges and protections associated with these concepts.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a “free consultation”