Trusts & Estates: The Art of Avoiding Probate


Most Americans know the folly of dying without a will. Under the widely different state formulas devised for such cases, a widow can lose one-half of her husband's estate to his relatives. Equally alarming to newly affluent Americans is the high cost of dying with a will. For good reasons, a will must be proved valid (probated) in state courts known variously as probate, surrogate, orphans or chancery. Unfortunately, many such courts' archaic methods can tie up an estate for years, devour 20% or more of its value in legal...

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