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Is probate needed if I have a will?

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

Myth: Probate is not needed if there is a will

False – A valid will is essential for a smooth probate but it is not an alternative to probate.

The importance of having a valid will is for stating what you want to happen after you’re gone. Who inherits what, who watches your children, who doesn’t inherit, and who you choose to be responsible for making sure all of the above are taken care of, just to name a few of the main issues addressed with a will. Your will is your legal document to ensure that these things happen in a manner that is best for your family or friends and in a way that aligns with your final wishes.

“Ok ok, but what if I don’t have children, and everything is going to go to my wife? Do I still need a will?” I’ve gotten this question several times. The answer is, yes, a will is still helpful assuming you have an estate that will need a probate. Even if it’s cut and dry on who will inherit everything, such as a spouse, your spouse will be spending extra money on the probate process if there is not a will. A valid will is essential for a smooth probate. Without a will, extra-legal work will be required beyond the normal probate and this is money (typically thousands of dollars) that would have been saved if there was even a basic will. I understand the hesitation of spending money on a will, but the costs could be multiples of that amount if a will is not drafted and executed.

That’s why we have to minimize the expense and effort needed to obtain that will that is essential for a smooth and less costly probate process when the time comes. Of course, there are many other reasons to have a will that are beyond the scope of this post. Please click here to get started on your will today.



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