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At Disability: Your spouse or a third party must petition the court for an appointment as your conservator or guardian.
Your conservator must obtain a bond, in most cases, and must keep detailed records and reports for the court. The court
controls all of your finances and assets and must be petitioned for approval of all expenses.
Fees: Your estate will pay all court costs and legal fees.
Privacy: None. Your cause becomes a public record.
At Death: Your will must be admitted to the probate court. After verifying your will, the court will order your taxes and
debts paid and your possessions distributed.
Fees: Your estate will pay all court costs and legal fees. Probate fees are often estimated at 5%-10% of the gross value of
your estate. If your will is contested, fees will rise in exponential fashion.
Time: Usually one to two years or more before heirs can inherit. Your family will have no control over costs or delays.
Privacy: None. Your will becomes a public document available to anyone for examination at the probate court. Your family
becomes exposed to unscrupulous solicitors and greedy heirs. Your family may also be exposed to claims by persons who
have no right to your estate, but who will file a claim hoping for a quick settlement.
Flexibility: You can change your will at any time, but it can easily be contested. If the will is not executed properly, the
court may disallow the will and distribute your estate according to the laws of intestate succession.