Starting the Probate Process in Minnesota
Probate might be unavoidable when it comes to dealing with certain estates.
Perhaps it’s the time to put away most of the unfinished business that the deceased didn’t finish on their own. What will happen is relative to what items need to go through this process because everything might not need to be accounted for.
While Minnesota probate law can help you with estates that have written wills as the central piece, you may still have to deal with this kind of law if there’s no will involved. Before you begin the process, nonetheless, you may want to think about a few things. You want to be careful and mindful about what’s going to happen next.
Starting the Probate Process | Gathering Information
Because going through probate probably means dealing with most of the estate that someone left, you should be mindful of what info you need.
The will is probably the first thing that you must find. If there’s even the slightest chance of a will being somewhere, someone should probably go and check. Probate can still happen even if there is no will since there will always be people who pass on without doing any kind of estate planning. Though, don’t be fooled into thinking that removing a will from the situation can make things easier. There are still a lot of things to be done.
Another big concern for you is knowing the whereabouts of all the people who are going to inherit from the estate. You should also probably also check which items need to go through probate and which ones evade probate by other means. This is true because you don’t want to end up giving away something which may otherwise be dedicated to a beneficiary that wasn’t listed in the will but was listed in another Minnesota estate planning document. In cases where the will isn’t present, you may need to look into who inherits which piece of property.
There can be numerous reasons why issues can arise, and keep in mind that hypothetically anyone can contest the will, thereby making it invalid. You might have a paper-thin situation on your hands.
Deadlines to the Probate Process
One thing about probate is that it might not be fast. In Minnesota, as an example, you have to wait about a month and a half, forty-five days to be exact, after the deceased’s passing before you can request the court to appoint a personal representative. Until the court can help move the case forward, you may have to bide your time. That’s not to say that you can’t do your research in the meantime. You might even want to consider trying to go early in the morning on the forty-fifth day so you can move things along faster.
When things get to be around the three-year mark, suggesting that the estate hasn’t entered probate by then, you may also look into what’s known as a determination of descent.
You may not want to wait three years, but you may want to consider this option if the time has passed. This option is similar to normal probate as the will may come into question. In fact, the court may want that information before it will even consider a decree of descent. Usually, having the court provide a decree of descent may mean that the court will make the final say in how the estate is going to be handled.
Starting the Probate Process in Minnesota | Who will be the executor or personal representative?
While you may want to lawyer up for the probate process, there’s also making sure that someone can serve as a personal representative for this ordeal. There’s the previously mentioned wait that you may have to go through, but there could also be locating the representative that the deceased wanted to have appointed. Check the will when in doubt, and prepare for the court to make a change in everyone’s plans if the will proves invalid. That’s when you may start to lose any control over the situation that you might have otherwise had.
Without a will, the court may go about finding someone to fill the role instead. Actually, a reoccurring theme in cases where a will is nonexistent is that the court tends to take over and make decisions for issues that would otherwise be made by the will. This issue of needing the court to find someone may also arise if there was no one designated as the personal representative by the deceased.
Don’t think that everything will automatically get transferred to the family. The probate process has several stages, and there’s always the concern that something may stall things further.
Debts of the Deceased Person
Debts can be a huge factor in probate. That’s not to say that they will be as there might only be bills to be paid off, but you’ve got to make sure that everything which needs to be paid off is silenced. You see, it’s possible that the loans which the deceased took out can no longer be paid by them and so their income can no longer, so to speak, sit at bay. That may mean selling the house, that can involve getting rid of the car, that could cause the bank accounts to be emptied, and that may drain every asset they have.
Please understand that this probably isn’t anyone trying to ruin your family’s potential inheritance. It’s more so that the government needs to determine if anything should or can be given to the beneficiaries. If an asset can be sold, it’s probably viewed as being able to be liquidated. The money has to come from someone, and since all of this stuff probably belongs to someone who’s not going to use it, that money is probably going to come from their metaphorical wallet instead of yours. Everything is being reconciled and finalized.
Minnesota Probate Lawyers
A final thing that you should consider is whether or not you have a Minnesota probate lawyer to help you. You don’t have to make an immediate decision. If you ever need help with probate-related matters, use those digits to get in touch with Flanders Law Firm LLC.
Sorting things out may seem like a mess, but it doesn’t have to be that way. By going through the process, you can begin to put back the pieces and move forward with getting back to normal life. These things can take time and thought. And you’re allowed to breathe. You can move forward and get the assistance that you need.
Contact the law firm today for your free initial consultation at 612-424-0398.