What Factors Increase Probate Fees?
Probate fees can vary greatly depending on the state the deceased has left their finances in. If you are trying to plan ahead so that you don’t leave loved ones facing massive probate fees there are a few precautions you can take.
Make a Will
Your first step is to make a will. It may seem like a morbid thing to think about, especially if you are still quite young. But one of the biggest factors that increase probate fees is having no will at all, because whoever is dealing with probate will have to find all your assets, debts, money owing to you etc, which may take considerable time. They will also have to work out who is entitled to the proceeds of your estate, according the law.
If you die intestate, it is the law that decides who is entitled to what, not you. Do you really want to give the government total control over your finances after you’ve gone? Also, if you don’t make a will, it is not just huge probate fees you will need to worry about, but also higher inheritance taxes.
So do make a will but get it drawn up by an expert. You can buy DIY kits at a stationery shop but you put yourself at risk of making mistakes. For example, if you miss assets off your will, you will be deemed to have died partially intestate and your will could take years to sort out. And the longer it takes, the higher the probate fees will be. An expert doesn’t charge a huge amount to help you make your will and they will make sure that nothing is left out.
Take Expert Advice
Proper planning can reduce probate fees and inheritance taxes. So make sure you take expert advice on matters such as how to ensure that your partner, spouse or children do not end up paying inheritance tax on your personal property.
Make Sure Your Will States How to Contact Your Benefactors
If your surviving relatives do not live with you, it is important to state in your will how they can be contacted. If you don’t do this, it will take far longer for a probate service to track the down the benefactors and this will increase probate fees considerably. Complications like this are all the more reason to use an expert to help you write your will. They already know the things that may cause complications and they can ensure that you don’t make any serious mistakes.