3 Common Myths About Wills, Trusts and Probate

man looking confused at an official document

Wills, trusts and probate are all essential components of estate planning. Unfortunately, as a result of the complex nature of these legal documents and processes, myths about probate, wills and trusts are prevalent. These misconceptions can lead to confusion and potentially negatively impact an estate’s heirs and their inheritances.

Below, we cover and dispel common myths about probate, wills and trusts to help you better understand the documents and processes involved in receiving your inheritance.

1. A Will Always Needs to Go Through Probate

One of the most common myths about wills is that they must always go through probate. Though many estates do go through probate, this isn’t always the case. Whether a will goes through the probate process depends on several factors, such as estate planning strategies, the laws in the jurisdiction and the nature of the assets involved.

The following are reasons why a will typically goes through probate:

  • Validation of the will: One reason a will typically goes through the probate process is to ensure it’s valid and authentic. During this process, the court will confirm that the will was properly executed, the person who made the will had the mental capacity to make decisions regarding their estate and there was no coercion or undue influence involved in the creation of the will. By going through this process, the court can prevent the enforcement of a contested or fraudulent will.
  • Need for title transfer: The probate process facilitates the transfer of a title to the beneficiaries. The court oversees the asset transfers during probate and provides legal documentation that establishes this change in ownership.
  • Debt and tax settlement: During probate, creditors have an opportunity to make a claim against the estate for unpaid taxes or debts. Before an estate’s assets can be distributed to beneficiaries, financial obligations like debts should be addressed and paid. Additionally, probate can offer an opportunity to resolve any disputes that may arise.
  • Need for a public record: Typically, probate proceedings are on the public record to ensure transparency for interested parties like creditors and beneficiaries. These interested parties will then have the chance to review the probate proceedings and ensure their rights are protected.

The following are some of the reasons a will may not need to go through the probate process:

  • The estate is exempt: Some estates may be exempt from the probate process, such as a smaller estate with few assets. If an estate’s value falls below the threshold set in that jurisdiction, it may be exempt. Simpler procedures can instead be used to transfer the estate’s assets to the beneficiaries.
  • There’s more than one owner: If an asset is owned jointly, this may affect whether it needs to go through probate. For instance, if a homeowner dies and jointly owned the home with their spouse, ownership of the home transfers to the surviving spouse.
  • There’s a revocable living trust: A revocable living trust involves assets that are transferred to and owned by the trust rather than the individual. After the grantor of the trust dies, the assets will be distributed without the need for probate and according to the terms of the trust.
  • There are assets designated directly to beneficiaries: Specific types of assets can be designated to beneficiaries, such as retirement accounts and life insurance policies. After the owner passes away, these assets may avoid probate and pass directly to the beneficiaries.

2. If a Will Isn’t Filed, the State Gets Everything

If a will isn’t filed, the estate’s assets are distributed according to intestate succession laws. Intestate succession determines the way estates are distributed if a person dies without a will, an invalid will or without a will that has been filed for probate. Typically, intestate succession prioritizes the decedent’s closest relatives as beneficiaries.

Even if the state doesn’t get a decedent’s entire estate, it’s essential to keep in mind that the individual’s wishes may not align with intestate succession laws. Filing a will properly allows an individual to give clear instructions on how and to whom they want their assets distributed.

3. You Must Wait for Probate to Receive Your Inheritance

One of the most common probate misconceptions is that you need to wait for probate to be completed before you can receive your inheritance. Probate can be a lengthy process, and during this time, you may have financial needs or face challenges that require the assets that are currently tied up in probate. Fortunately, there’s an alternative option you can leverage to get a portion of your inheritance before the probate process is complete.

inheritance advance process

This solution is known as an inheritance advance, which gives you a portion of your inheritance early. At Inheritance Funding, we can offer you a cash advance on your inheritance. The following is the inheritance advance process:

  1. Application for a cash advance: The first step is submitting your application to us at Inheritance Funding for a cash advance on your inheritance. We’ll review the details of your inheritance, including the progress of probate and the estimated value of the estate.
  2. Evaluation of your inheritance: Next, we’ll evaluate the potential value of your inheritance and determine the exact amount or percentage that will be provided to you as a cash advance.
  3. Approval of your application: If we approve your application, you’ll enter into an agreement with us in which we outline the terms and conditions of your advance.
  4. Disbursement of your cash: After you sign the agreement, we’ll disburse the approved amount. You’ll receive this money immediately to use as you wish, such as by making a mortgage payment, paying off a debt or purchasing a new car.

Contact Us to Learn More About Probate Myths and Misconceptions

When you understand the truths around probate, wills and trusts, you can more successfully navigate the probate and inheritance process. If you are an heir expecting an inheritance, Inheritance Funding can offer you a cash advance regardless of your credit or income.

Some benefits of working with us include:

  • Funding in as little as 24 hours
  • Low price guarantee
  • No collateral needed
  • No risk of non-payment
  • No credit check or effect on credit
  • Flexibility to use the funds as you wish

Once you receive your money, your responsibility is over. You don’t need to pay us back, and we’ll instead work directly with the estate and court so there’s no hassle for you. If you’re interested in getting a cash advance on your inheritance, contact us today.

woman on the phone getting a cash advance on her inheritance