Let me explain how your home and other assets get tied up in the Probate Court System.
When you bought your home the title company or attorney deeded the property as:
Mr. Homeowner and Mrs. Homeowner, his wife.
That’s “Tenants by the Entirety” very common with Husband and Wife.
What happens with the house when, let’s say, the Husband dies?
Nothing. His joint tenancy died with him and now, Mrs. Homeowner, owns the house in her own individual name.
What happens when Mrs. Homeowner dies? The second spouse to die. A new legal theory entity known as “The Estate of Mrs. Homeowner” owns the home. Now the home HAS to take a complicated and expensive trip through the Probate Court System before the adult children heirs get title to the home.
Please understand this fact: Once an individual dies with titled assets in their own name, (real property, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds) those assets HAVE to take a complicated and expensive trip through the Probate Court System.
If you don’t understand that a Last Will and Testament guarantees your Estate will go through Probate, then you simply don’t understand the legal use of that document.
One spouse will absolutely predecease the other and once both spouses are deceased, BINGO, welcome to the Probate Court System.
There are simple methods to avoid this but the methods must be implemented BEFORE the crisis happens.
Please understand it is your adult children heirs who will have to suffer through and pay the attorney fees and court costs to probate your Estate.