Here are a couple of ways to avoid conflict in the probate process.
Today I’m joined by Stephanie Cook, an amazing attorney from ShuffieldLowman who is here to provide us some insight on ways to avoid the probate process when someone in our family passes away. Stephanie Cook has worked at ShuffieldLowman since 2007, and she specializes in fiduciary litigation. That means she deals with any litigation related to trusts, probates, guardianships, and more. Unfortunately, she has seen what can go wrong when an estate plan isn’t put in place.
For example, there’s the case where two parents retire to Florida, leaving their children in the north. One of the parents, unfortunately, passes away, and when the children speak to the remaining parent, they notice they don’t sound the same. Then they learn that a ‘caretaker’ has swooped in and taken control of the parent’s finances. In this case, the siblings sometimes fight over who should be in charge of the remaining parent. If there’s no power of attorney or healthcare surrogate, the parent will often end up in a guardianship, which can be very expensive.
If there had been a power of attorney and a healthcare surrogate, that conflict could be avoided. Also, establishing a prenate guardian could help avoid these issues. This is essentially where you say, “If I have to have a guardian, I want X person to do it.” This arrangement creates a presumption that can eliminate family squabbles.
For the complete list of solutions to these kinds of issues, watch our full video here. Ultimately, these solutions can help bring peace to a family and save them significant amounts of money.
If you have further questions about today’s topic or anything else to do with probate, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to help you.