Tina Seymour Demoran, Esquire
If you’ve never thought about estate planning…let me give you a few examples I’ve seen just this year that required probate:
· A husband passes away, but the deed to their home was not set up to transfer automatically to the wife.
· Both parents passed away with multiple pieces of real estate that were not structured for an automatic transfer to heirs.
· A parent died with several investment accounts that were not set up for transfer to the heirs.
· A parent remarried and failed to ensure that the children were provided for…and the brand new spouse is now trying to take the entire estate as their own.
· A person passed away with a will that had not been updated in over three decades…and all of the named heirs and beneficiaries were deceased.
EVERY ONE OF THESE CASES required that a probate case be opened before the assets could be distributed.
By law, Mississippi does not allow a person to open probate without hiring an attorney.
There is no getting around this one. It is Mississippi law.
The simplest of things can make an otherwise smooth transfer of assets head to court and require probate.
The simplest probate cases can run into the thousands of dollars.
They can also take 6 months to several years to open and close.
If an attorney has to prove intent of the Testator (that’s you when you die), it’s going to be done at an hourly fee.
If it’s contested, additional hearings, medical professional witnesses (who can cost more than the attorney by the hour), and additional client meetings will be required.
That amount doesn’t include depositions, travel to and from the courthouse, the probate paperwork, etc.
You leave your assets open to creditors who may not otherwise have access to your estate.
You could make mistakes that could have been prevented with a simple estate planning session with a lawyer.
So…..are you thinking about Estate Planning now?
Need answers to questions regarding your estate, your children, and your legal needs?
Then come to our FREE ESTATE PLANNING Seminar, which will be held on Tuesday, March 26th at 10:30 a.m. at the St. Martin Library, located at 15004 Lemoyne Blvd., Biloxi, MS 39532.
Free estate planning information will be provided.