Experienced Probate Attorney Serving Minnesota
If you own certain types of property in the State of Minnesota in your name alone with no beneficiary, payable on death, transfer on death, or joint tenancy designation, it must be probated following your death. Any such property held outside of Minnesota will be subject to that state’s probate laws. Keep in mind that such assets will also be probated if the value of your estate exceeds $50,000.
The Minnesota Probate Process
The probate process begins by filing an application with the probate court. Probate ends when all debts and taxes are paid and any and all assets are distributed to designated beneficiaries. In the event your will is contested, a Minnesota probate judge must resolve the dispute.
Assets Subject to Probate
If you own certain types of property in the State of Minnesota in your name alone with no beneficiary designated — in other words, any property not held in joint tenancy with right of survivorship — it must be probated following your death. Any property held outside of Minnesota will be subject to that state’s probate laws. Keep in mind that such assets will also be probated if the value of your estate exceeds $50,000.
Assets NOT Subject to Probate
Certain types of property and assets need not be probated, including property owned in joint tenancy, jointly held bank accounts, payable on death accounts, life insurance funds designated for a specific beneficiary and/or pension benefits with a beneficiary designation.
During an informal probate proceeding, your personal representative may pay any outstanding debts and inheritances without the court’s supervision. If you’d like to pursue an informal probate, an application must be prepared stating, among other things, your interest in the proceeding and the decedent’s name, date of birth, and the county in which they were living at the time of death. You must also list the names and addresses of the decedent’s spouse, children and heirs, as well as the name and address of the decedent’s personal representative.
Keep in mind that the decision to accept an application for informal probate rests solely with the probate registrar.
In the State of Minnesota, formal probate generally involves complex estates where a judge is required to make certain determinations. Similar to informal probate proceedings, formal probate matters can either be supervised or unsupervised by a Minnesota court.
Since most people have never gone through the probate process, it is highly recommended that you speak with an experienced probate lawyer before moving forward.