A Will is 'ink on paper' until two things happen - first, you pass, and second, a probate judge declares your Will valid. As such, a Will does nothing for you while you are alive. It does nothing to assist anyone with tending to your business while you are incapacitated. And, it must be subjected to a probate proceeding to have any real effect. While every good estate plan should keep your assets and your family away from the probate attorney and the probate court, it is always a good idea to have a Will to address any assets that may have 'slipped through the cracks' and fallen subject to probate. With that said, I liken Wills to safety nets for high wire aerialists - the aerialist does not want to have to use the saftety net, but if he falls, he darn sure wants it! In short, it is important to understand that a Will, by itself, will not keep your estate or loved ones out of probate – a state court-administered process that is very expensive, long and drawn out, and public!
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