Advantages & Disadvantages of Probate

Many people assume probate is a process to avoid if at all possible, but an experienced Walnut Creek probate attorney understands that not every situation is the same, and, in some cases, there is a distinct advantage to probating an estate.


The cost of a probate is typically much higher when compared to administering an estate of a similar size without the need for probate. Fees for the probate lawyer and executor are set by statute and are based on a percentage of the fair market value of the estate. Time is another drawback to probate; it will take a minimum of nine months, but it could take considerably longer. The assets of the estate cannot be distributed until the conclusion of probate. Probate is a public proceeding; there is no privacy when an estate is probated.


When an estate is probated, the probate court supervises all matters. A Walnut Creek probate attorney explains that this can be particularly useful if there is a dispute among heirs or beneficiaries or a question as to title or ownership of an asset. Creditors who are given proper notice have only 120 days to file a claim or their rights may be extinguished. Without probate, a creditor has rights until the expiration of the relevant statute of limitations. For an estate with many creditors, the probate court is a way to protect the executor from potentially paying on unnecessary claims.

Avoiding Probate

If it is determined that avoiding probate is desirable, a living trust, holding assets in joint tenancy and establishing pay on death beneficiaries on financial holdings should be considered.

Contact Walnut Creek Probate Lawyer for Legal Advice

Protect your assets and make it easier for your loved ones by having a well-conceived estate plan in place.