Avoiding Probate #4 – The Bureaucratic Nightmare

Part Four in our series, Reasons to Avoid Probate, deals with avoiding the Bureaucratic Nature of the Probate Process.

In Part Three, we examined the very slow nature of the Probate process.

Now, we will look at some of the reasons why the process is so cumbersome and slow.

At it’s heart, Probate is a Court-supervised (some would say Judge-controlled) process.

Unlike the informal nature of the Trust Administration process, virtually nothing happens in Probate without the Probate Court’s approval.

There are a host of bureaucratic requirements and opportunities for postponement and delay.

Let’s examine a few common causes of delay:

  • The Personal Representative does not qualify to serve, or is not able to be bonded (if required)
  • The formal Accounting provided to the Court is challenged or contested by one or more  beneficiaries or interested parties
  • There are insufficient or illiquid funds that prevent the timely satisfaction of creditor claims
  • Real property in the Estate is subject to Foreclosure proceedings
  • More than one person files to serve as Personal Representative if none is named in the decedent’s Will
  • Required deadlines and procedures for providing Notice to interested Parties are missed or not followed to the letter

To be sure, these issues can arise in the Trust Administration process as well.

However, due to the informal, Trustee supervised process of Trust Administration, these issues can usually be handled swiftly and with a minimum of hassle.

Not so when dealing with the bureaucratic nature of the Probate Process.

Reason enough to Avoid Probate.