Is Probate Bad?
Probate is such an involved process that it understandably gets a negative reputation. However, probate provides valuable closure to families.
“Is probate bad?” is a simple question with a lot of complexity behind it. Executors shepherding an estate via probate court juggle a lot of responsibilities at once. Probate can be stressful, particularly during a time of mourning. It makes sense why the series of paperwork and meetings don’t have the best reputation. However, the degree of negativity lobbed at probate isn’t entirely warranted. Opting for probate comes with many advantages that alleviate some of the emotional burdens on the executor and heirs alike.
Probate Ensures a Smoother Inheritance Process
As complicated as it can be sometimes, probate provides the most streamlined way to ensure the deceased’s wishes are properly fulfilled. If you have all the necessary end-of-life documentation (wills, trusts, etc.) in place, the State of Georgia already has a detailed outline of everything executors need to do. Even if you don’t have all the required paperwork, the State of Georgia still has protocols in place to make executors’ and inheritors’ lives easier.
Probate does involve a lot of paperwork, traveling to and from scheduled court dates, and communication between legal personnel, family members, heirs, and other individuals involved in the probate process. It isn’t a stress-free experience. Going through probate, however, greatly reduces an executor’s anxiety levels by offering set protocols to follow rather than diving into the process without a set plan.
Probate Doesn’t Cost the Executor any Money
One prevailing myth regarding probate is that the assigned executor holds responsibility for paying all estate costs out of their own pockets. Some newly-minted executors may elect to forego probate because of this misunderstanding. Throughout the entire probate process, the executor pays for all fees, bills, and other costs come directly out of the estate. Many end-of-life documents even allocate money specifically to compensate the executor for services rendered. At no point should the executor ever pay any of their own money while working to close the estate.
It should be noted that executors who opt out of probate do not need to pay the required fees themselves, either.
Probate Honors the Deceased’s Wishes
Going through the probate process not only makes life a little easier on the executor, but it ensures that the deceased’s final requests are honored. What better way to honor their memory than to do everything it takes to fulfill their last wishes as quickly and accurately as possible?
In addition, the time saved and stresses prevented by going through probate frees up the emotional energy necessary for executors to process their grief. It’s crucial to view executors as people first, representatives of the estate second. The fewer surprises that crop up while dealing with closing out the estate, the more the executor can focus on their own mental health. They can spend time with loved ones and swap memories of the dearly departed, further keeping happy, comforting memories alive.
Probate Provides Closure
By the end of the probate process, everyone should feel like they’ve paid their respects, and that the memories and belongings of the deceased are all in their right place. While the probate process may be long and tedious, it helps people process difficult emotions and continue living their lives in a meaningful way. When thinking about the amount of good that the probate process can provide everyone involved, it’s difficult to say that probate is bad. In many cases, probate provides a lot of goodness to the executor and the beneficiaries while honoring the wishes of the deceased.
Answering Your Georgia Probate Questions
Georgia Probate Resources has your back. We’re here to support new and seasoned executors alike with all the questions they may have about the probate process. It’s our aim to share with you the myths and realities behind what goes on when an estate needs settlement. We invite you to explore some of our other blog posts to learn more about how probate works in Georgia:
What Makes a Will Valid or Invalid in Georgia?