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From Bad to Worse... A Story of Two Tales

Losing a loved one is never easy. Unfortunately, for many of my clients, the pain doesn’t end there. The last thing you want to do after your loved one dies is deal with an attorney and the courts. Unfortunately, however, without a properly constructed estate plan, probate is usually unavoidable.

Please believe me when I say, probate is no fun! It’s a long, drawn-out process, taking up to a year or more to complete. It’s expensive, costing thousands of dollars even with a small estate. And the worst part? Your loved ones usually receive nothing until the probate nightmare is over. With probate, (1) an attorney must represent the estate, (2) either formal or summary administration paperwork must be filed with the court, (3) written notice must be provided to “interested” parties, (4) a written inventory of assets must be filed with the court, (5) creditors must be given an opportunity to make claims against estate assets, and (6) the court must review and approve the distribution of all assets. In short, the probate process is incredibly public and invasive. Alternatively, with a revocable trust, probate is entirely avoided. There is no requirement to alert interested parties or publish information about your loved one’s passing in the newspaper. There is no need to hire an attorney or involve the courts, avoiding thousands of dollars in legal fees and costs. Assets may be distributed to your family immediately, instead of waiting months (or years). And the process is completely private. In my humble opinion – it’s a "no brainer.” A revocable trust beats a last will and testament almost every time. If I can help ease the grieving process for you or your loved ones in the future, you can reach me at (813) 244-7758 or Cheers! Ross Spano

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