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2gifts asks,

<<Anything in your will goes through probate, but the idea is to transfer as much as possible outside of the will.>>

I'm not sure why everyone is so terrified of probate, though I realize this may not be your opinion and you are just responding to others in the thread.


It depends where you live. I grew up in Connecticut which is recognized nationally as having the most corrupt Probate Court System in the country. From what I understand from living in California for a few years, it's almost as bad there, at least in terms of the fees they skim off a probated estate.

Anyways, I wrote up my experience with the Connecticut Probate about 10 years ago on the REHP site. I was so Po'ed at what the Court Appointed Executor was doing, that I fronted $20,000 in legal fees out of my own pocket to go after him. My attorney marveled, "This is an interesting case, nobody does this kind of thing out of principle."

My experience with Judge Walter A. "Sleepy" Clebowicz and the New Britain, CT Probate Court


As far as getting Estate Taxes paid without going through probate, Fidelity or Vanguard won't release a brokerage or mutual fund account until they have evidence that all tax liabilities have been paid. So if there are multiple heirs, they will have to cooperate to see that the tax returns completed and payment funded. Or if there's a disagreement, it will have to go to probate and cost them even more --- their choice.

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