The Probate Process
The probate process involves evaluating the assets of a deceased person and determining the type of administration you will need. A personal representative is designated or chosen to be in charge. The personal representative hires an attorney to file papers with the court. The court then appoints the personal representative by issuing letters of administration. The personal representative has to wait a minimum statutory period of time for creditors to come forward and make claims against your estate and then, if all goes well, the assets can be distributed and the estate closed.
That's why it is important to select your personal representative and alternates carefully and to keep your papers in good order. The more work that needs to be done after your death, the more time it will take and the more costly it will be.
Finally, the individual assets that pass to beneficiaries who are under 18 may require a court appointed guardianship for the property until the child reaches the age of majority.
Yes, You Can Lose Everything!
You may think that your wealth is safe and that you don't need protection. But don't delude yourself and accept reality — for every 60 minutes you spend making money, spend 60 seconds thinking about how to protect it!