The Hidden Cost of Probate Court

As an estate planning attorney, I spend my time helping my clients stay out of court.
We value privacy, confidentiality and self-determination. Making one’s estate plan is one of our country’s most valued opportunities to exercise personal freedom of choice. The alternative is letting the court decide through guardianship, conservatorship, probate, district, circuit, federal or other administrative forums. The court should, in my opinion, always be the last resort.

It does take time, energy and courage to face our mortality; however, I encourage each and every one of you to take this precious opportunity to exercise this unique privilege afforded by our country to make your own decisions with regard what happens with your assets when you are not here. Here are some differences between making your own estate plan and relying on court:

                        Good Estate Plan                             In Court
                         Collaborative                                     Conflict-driven
                        Relationship preservation                    Divisive
                        Private with dignity                           Public
                        Control                                             Loss of control
                        Time-sensitive                                   Time-consuming 
                        Cost-sensitive                                    Costly
                        Emotionally satisfying                       Emotionally draining
                        Value-driven and process-oriented      Procedural-driven

Take the opportunity to carefully determine how you would like to be cared for all the way through the end of your life.