Disadvantages to probate, including the length of time required to complete the process and wrap up the estate, and the potential costs involved.

If you have been reading my blog this year, you know that the federal estate tax was repealed for 2010, and that it is likely coming back in 2011. Regardless the legislative fate of the federal estate tax, there is another aspect of your estate that you will want to consider – your Probate Estate.

As was explained recently in Investing Daily, everyone has at least two estates. There is the taxable estate – the value of your estate that may be taxed by federal or state governments. The other estate is the Probate Estate. This is the part of your estate that must be processed through the state court system before assets can be distributed to creditors and heirs.

Probate can have some advantages, including the fact that because everything is reviewed by the court, there may be less of a chance for shenanigans. However, there also are disadvantages to probate, including the length of time required to complete the process and wrap up the estate, and the potential costs involved.

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