Especially for families with larger estates, probate can be arduous, laborious, and certainly unpleasant. Hard-earned savings and lifelong assets can get tied up in the legal process, and it can become overwhelming in a hurry. As experienced Minnesota estate planning attorneys, we see probate mistakes made time and time again – understanding some of the most common (and how to avoid them) can make the estate resolution process easier, especially during a challenging and emotional time.
Not Understanding Your Personal Liability
The heir or executor of an estate needs to understand his or her role. In most cases, this person is now the primary fiduciary. This means potentially taking on much of the financial liability if the estate has unresolved debts, taxes, or other issues. If the deceased owes the government money (back taxes, prior settlements, etc.) the state or federal institution may take action towards the estate to collect on those debts, which is a burden no one wants to be blindsided with.
Taking on Too Much as One Person
In some cases, executors and heirs tend to enjoy the power of an estate too much and can’t think clearly, fairly, and calmly about all of the things that need to happen to resolve the estate properly. We’ve seen it so often: resolving estates with meaningful assets and value is a responsibility not everyone can manage. Some executors may be better off passing on that responsibility to someone more qualified.
Not Hiring a Minnesota Estate Planning Attorney to Guide the Estate Through Probate
Enlisting the help of a knowledgeable Minnesota estate planning attorney can save a lot of time, money, and headaches in the event of a loved one’s death. An attorney will help to draft a will to ensure the legal and safe passage of assets and proper succession. In the event that a will wasn’t formalized, hiring an attorney who understands probate can offer another mind to strategize with to help retain as much value of the estate as possible. Probate is not the time to go it alone – significant estates require the right representation.
An experienced Minnesota estate planning attorney has the knowledge and expertise to avoid other mistakes and help make the probate process as painless as possible. Attorney John Waldron at Waldron Law Offices, Ltd. has more than 30 years of legal experience helping clients on a variety of matters, especially with all stages of the probate process. Call (952) 471-0940 today to learn more and schedule a free consultation.