Over the years there has been a lot of chatter about avoiding probate because its this horrible expensive “monster.” Its not. Look at the people or the source that is claiming its horrible – its services and people who are trying to convince you to pay for a trust now and avoid probate. Trusts can cost thousands of dollars and that will cost you the money now and it does not avoid probate. Sometimes the trust but be filed with the Will becuase you have an asset, maybe a small bank account, that you forgot to put into the trust or did not have time or did not want to go to the expense of placing in the trust. Now you have to probate. The probate process, if all the papers are in order, can take as little as one to two weeks to process through the court. The fees are based on the size of the estate and can cost as little as $45.00. The fees are listed for the public on the NY Court website. However, sometimes a trust can and will cost the estate more time and money. Many people will create a trust and put most but not all the assets into the trust – then you need to go to probate court. Some people will sell and buy something new, and not put that in the trust for whatever reason – that’s a problem. So, before you pay for a trust – see an attorney who does both – one who can prepare a trust and one who is familiar with the administration of an Estate. Generally, if you see an attorney who does elder planning, they should evaluate your needs and recommend the documents based on your needs, not their wallet. If they recommend a trust, ask them to explain why. And get a second opinion – it’s usually a free consultation.