Probate courts often have some of the best public servants in the county. Their job is to clean up the various messes left in the county by death, incapacity, mental illness, and destitution, and sometimes their options are limited.

Most perceived failures of probate court could have been prevented by thoughtful estate planning: a conservatorship, guardianship, or trust could be set up for a disabled person; life insurance could be purchased to pay off the house and other debts; a will could distribute property not equally, but fairly, and sometimes fairness favors the weak over the strong or the responsible over the irresponsible.

Through estate planning you have the opportunity to give the probate court a better deck of cards and your most judicious heirs the discretion to do the right things.