A primary reason to set up a RLT is to avoid probate

A famous consumer advocate: Ralph Nader, a lawyer himself, summed up probate as “The screwing of the average corpse.”

An increasing number of enlightened and responsible attorneys say probate is an unnecessary expense and burden on the heirs that is why it is better to avoid probate. They state that the solution is to set up a Revocable Living Trust and, when coupled with an estate organizing system, the RLT greatly reduces the time and expense of an estate settlement.

Henry Abts learned of the probate problem while working as a financial advisor. He updated The Living Trust in 1993, 1997, and 2003. In the Preface to his book’s final update and revision that courageous and caring man, after many years of experience, felt obliged to write the following:

As I traveled throughout the nation giving seminars on the power of the Living Trust and vital estate-preservation vehicles, I discovered the awesome clout wielded by many Will and Probate attorneys. I am convinced that they are willing to pay any price and go to any length – including the dissemination of misinformation even to their brethren – to protect their vested interests of $25 billion annually in probate fees taken at the expense of the general public.


When property is owned jointly, with “loving wills”, eventually (following the second death) the heirs’ inheritance will end up in probate court if the probatable assets are above the relatively low statuatory legal threshold (only $75,000 in Florida). If all you have is a Will (Last Will and Testament), the executor of your Will (usually a loved one) must settle your estate through the Probate Court.

In the United States today, PROBATE is one of the most agonizing and expensive experiences in which an individual can participate. To name someone as the executor of your Will (Last Will and Testament), is to place an incredibly painful burden upon that individual. To place the below burden on someone you love is a senseless thing to do and for these reasons it is suggested by experts to avoid probate.

Here is a list of some of the demands of the Probate Court:

Locate the current will and file with the Probate Division of the Circuit Court (or District Court).

Petition the Court to be appointed as Executor (personal representative of the estate).

Obtain permission from the Court to pay a support allowance to the family (if needed).

Prepare an inventory of estate assets including brokerage and bank accounts, realty, mobile homes, automobiles and other vehicles, furniture, jewelry and other possessions, filing the original with the Court and sending copies to the beneficiaries.

Publish the “Notice of Administration” in a newspaper acceptable to the Court.

If necessary, oppose in Court all incorrect or invalid claims against the estate.

Petition the Court for approval to sell real property if the Will did not give that authority to the executor. Notify each beneficiary as to their right to a hearing on the matter. Prepare a “consent to sale of real estate and waiver of hearing” form to be signed by each beneficiary, if applicable.

Prepare detailed final accounting which is acceptable to the Court, sending copies to the beneficiaries.

File the plan of distribution with the Court.

Prepare Report of Final Distribution, sending the original to Court with copies to beneficiaries.

Petition Court for discharge of Executor.

In addition, there are another 37 administrative duties required of executors. Most executors will not have the time to learn all the proper procedures, complete all the forms required, and make all the trips to the Probate Court. To avoid probate in FL, Probate attorneys realizes this fact and, of course, capitalize on it. In most states, statutory law allows attorneys to charge a fee of 2% or more of the estate to be probated. However, when you add on extraordinary fees and administrative fees, the percentage increases. Many firms charge a flat 5%, but it is not unusual for the fee to run even higher than that. It is not difficult to see why attorneys who make their incomes from antiquated probate laws, do not want those laws changed. So it is better to look forward to avoid probate in Florida, yourself in spite of paying additional charges to attorneys.

Ralph Nader (himself a lawyer) described probate as “the screwing of the average corpse.” Probate is a system that is supposed to ensure that a dead person’s debts and taxes are paid, that his will is valid, and that his estate will go to the people named in his will.

Lawyers have a legal monopoly on performing probate. They typically earn over $1,000 per hour for this service. David Hapgood in The Screwing of the Average Man writes: “Most of the money spent on probate goes, by widespread agreement, to support expert make-work.” Judge William Haworth of Oklahoma, interviewed on the CBS television program Sixty Minutes estimated that 90 percent of probate legal work is unnecessary. He added that what work for avoid probate FL, had to be done “could usually be done better, as well as more cheaply, by a legal secretary.” [From: The Economic Rape of America, Chapter Ten]

People invariably ask, “Why didn’t my attorney tell me about the Living Trust?” You may believe that the reason was that the attorney would not get his or her probate fee. Attorneys talk among themselves about their “accumulated Wills,” much as you and I would speak about retirement plans. The attorneys will comment to each other with pride, “I’ve got ten drawers of Wills,” or “I’ve got seventeen drawers of Wills,” or “I’ve got twenty-three drawers of Wills.” Such Wills are sometimes seen as an attorney’s “retirement plan”! Avoid probate in Florida is considered to be money generation plan for the attorney.

However, after having recognized the tremendous potential of the Living Trust, most of the attorneys then admit that they had never been taught about the Living Trust in law school. Unlike the typical legal courses, which include Wills and torts, the Living Trust is included only in the elective courses taught for attorneys who wish to specialize in estate planning. Consequently, even though greed may be a reason why some attorneys try to steer clients away from a Living Trust, lack of knowledge or familiarity with the Living Trust can also be a major factor.

Occasionally, someone will turn to his or her accountant for advice about the advisability of having a Living Trust. Often the accountant will respond that, since the client’s estate is under the federal estate tax exemption, the client does not need a Living Trust. When you die, your estate is not subject to the federal estate tax if the value of your estate is less than the exemption amount. For people who pass away in 2022, the exemption amount will be $12.06 million (it’s $11.7 million for 2021). For a married couple, that comes to a combined exemption of $24.12 million. The accountant is only addressing federal estate taxes, not the probate process. Most accountants are not knowledgeable or experienced in estate planing – which is the function of reducing estate taxes and avoid probate costs in the future. Typically, estate planing is not a normal function of an accountant.

If an attorney or accountant tells you that your estate will not have to go through probate or gives you a specific probate cost, ask him or her to put the statement in writing. Which is the safe way of administrating avoid Probate in Fl and saving the cost as well.

You may be surprised to know what some notable people paid to have their estate settled through the probate process.

Dwight D. Eisenhower – $2,905,850 estate reduced by $671,420 – a 23% loss!
Nat “King” Cole – $1,876,640 estate reduced by $1,577,740 – a 84% loss!
Franklin D. Roosevelt – $1,940,990 estate reduced by $574,860 – a 29% loss!
General George S. Patton – $844,360 estate reduced by $266,820 – a 31% loss!
What about your estate? Well, a study by AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) found that the average cost of probate was 10% of the gross estate (from Modern Maturity magazine August-September 1991 issue)

To Learn About Living Trusts, Click Here

Last Will and Testament Florida, Probate Cost in Florida, Florida Revocable Trust

At Florida Estate Planning, we are the experts in helping you prepare your Last Will and Testament and other estate planning documents. Our online will software makes it easy to draft a will in minutes. Contact us to find how a lawyer can determine whether you need a revocable trust or a last will and testament.

Our mission is to provide our clients with high-quality legal services that cost effectively and professionally. Our attorneys use the most technologically advanced methods for preparing documents, communicating with clients, and processing data about their cases. We strive to maintain an atmosphere of teamwork between our staff members so that client needs are met efficiently with high quality control standards over all aspects of each case from beginning through completion.

We believe it is significant to keep up with current trends and technology because they affect our practice areas. Such as probate law or family law matters where social media usage may be relevant evidence when determining child custody arrangements during divorce proceedings.So avoid probate hassles and contact us now.

Florida Estate Planning

An experienced Florida estate planning attorney can explain the law in your state, answer any questions you have, and provide an overview of how best to proceed.

Therefore, if you are looking to save some cost on avoid probate in Florida make sure to invest in the right teams.

Probate Cost in Florida

Probate cost in Florida depends on the total value of the estate. This means that some estates do not require probate at all.

Last Will and Testament Florida

In Florida, the last will is a legal document that allows a person (known as the testator) to outline their wishes regarding their estate and personal property after they die. When executed properly, it can ensure that:

  • Payments made to debators
  • Beneficiaries receive their inheritances
  • Minors are cared for
  • Appoint guardians for children

A will does not have to be extensive or complicated – simple wills can be as effective as long ones. To speak with an attorney about drafting your will contact us.

If you want to get started on your estate planning process, contact us today, and we will help you create a personalized plan for your needs.

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