Estate Planning Information from Mike Walters about Probate

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Mike Walters, the Entertainer’s trusted legal advisor, from Walters and Ward, specializes in estate planning in California. He is sharing another informative legal tip related to probate. This week Mike Walters explains what probate is, the problems with it, and the process of this formal court proceeding.

Probate is a legal process in which your assets are distributed once you die. These assets include property, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and pretty much anything that you own that has value.

If you have a will or do not have a will once you die, your probate will still undergo probate and the probate proceeding.  When this is processed by the court, they have to verify that your will is valid and then they distribute your assets. The problem with this it that your assets are frozen, the proceeding is made public, it takes a long time to get settled, you need to hire an attorney, and fees can be expensive.

So, how can you avoid probate?

The solution, make an estate plan. This ensures that your assets are distributed to whom you wish, you have control over your health care decisions, your minor children will be cared for by whom you choose, but just as importantly, your estate will not go through probate.

In order to avoid probate, you should start your estate planning as soon as possible and Walters and Ward is the perfect place to assist you.

For more information on Wills and Trusts or estate planning, visit

Walters and Ward holds free workshops on Wills and Trusts. These workshops do have limited space, but you can sign up online or call 1-877-779-9729 to reserve space at one of the upcoming workshops.

1 Comment

  1. Baltimore Estate Planning Lawyer

    October 14, 2010 at 8:44 am

    There is nothing inherently wrong with avoiding probate. Maybe it’s a California thing, but in Maryland “probate” is the process of administering a will and “intestate” is what happens when an individual dies without a will. In otherwords, if someone dies without a will the heirs will have to probate an intestate estate.

    The only reasons I can really think of avoiding probate (at least the administering of a will) would be privacy because the estate’s assets are a matter of public record if everything is going through a probate proceeding.

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