Interviewer:  What is living probate?

Becky Cholewka:  There’s two kinds of probate. There’s a probate that occurs after you pass away. It’s called probate because it is handled through the probate court. There is also a second kind of probate that happens when you’re alive. That is living probate.

There’s two major circumstances in which living probate occurs. Usually, it has to do with incapacity issues. As people get older, maybe can’t handle their financial affairs and can’t make their own day to day decisions anymore, that’s when living probate kicks in.

Those processes are called guardianships and conservatorships. Those are the two different categories. Guardianships take care of your day to day needs. Conservatorships are for your assets, somebody to manage your assets.

To go through those processes at the probate court, is very expensive. Each one, a guardianship or a conservatorship, could cost between three and five thousand dollars.

Our goal here at Cholewka Law, is to plan ahead of time, and to not have to have your family go through the living probate situations and have to go through those guardianships and conservatorships. With appropriate planning on the front end, you can avoid those altogether.