Many people elect to have a trust instead of a will so that their loved ones can avoid the probate process. That is because there are known complications that can come up which will make the process long and frustrating for those involved. You'll want a probate lawyer on your side to help you handle the following issues.
There Are Beneficiary Disputes
If there is no will, it is possible that the beneficiaries of the estate are not going to agree on how the estate should be distributed. They may feel like they are owed more than another person, or that someone should not be entitled to any part of the estate. Even if there is a will, a beneficiary may dispute the validity of a will to try to use one that is not current.
A Creditor Makes A Claim
If the estate owes a creditor money, then that creditor has the right to make a claim against the estate for the debt that is owed to them. This debt must be paid before any inheritance is divided, which can impact what people are set to inherit. For example, a large debt may require selling a property to pay for it, even though was supposed to inherit the home.
The Probate Process Suffers Delays
There are many reasons why a delay can happen during the probate process, with a common one being missing documents. It can cause the executor to spend many days trying to acquire or find a specific document, all while the estate is still not divided among the heirs. There may also be a very complicated estate, such as one when a business needs to be divided. Having to go through the process of selling assets to pay for debts can also cause huge delays, especially when selling property.
An Heir Is Missing
Know that the estate cannot be divided if an heir is not able to be located so that they can be part of the process. This can cause the entire estate to be put into a trust until the heir is located. However, there are time limits on the waiting period to get all heirs involved, and it will eventually continue without them.
An Executor Demonstrates Misconduct
It's possible that the executor of the estate is responsible for some act of misconduct. For example, they may be stealing assets from the estate. If this is discovered, then the probate court would assign a new executor to take care of the estate.