Watertown Probate Attorney
Skilled Probate Lawyer Helping Watertown Families
After a loved one dies, their estate enters what is known as the “probate period.” Throughout the probate process, their estate is valued and assessed, taxes and outstanding debts are paid, and the remaining assets are dispersed among the deceased’s beneficiaries. Most properties in Minnesota are subject to probate, and any properties you own in other states will be handled according to those states’ probate laws once you pass away.
Once the Minnesota probate court receives a filed application, the probate period begins. After the required taxes and outstanding debts are paid off and the assets have been distributed among the estate’s beneficiaries, the probate period concludes. If someone chooses to contest the will, the matter will be handled and resolved by a Minnesota probate judge.
The Probate Process in Minnesota
If your property is listed to only you, with no other named beneficiary, it becomes subject to probate once you pass away. Any properties held by you and at least one other person in joint tenancy will typically not be subject to probate. Other types of jointly-held assets, including bank accounts, life insurance funds associated with an identified beneficiary, and other such assets linked to a designated beneficiary will generally not be subject to probate in Minnesota.
Informal vs. Formal Probate
Minnesota law recognizes two forms of probate: informal and formal probate. Formal probate involves a probate judge who oversees and determines the distribution of the estate and the payment of all necessary debts and taxes. Usually, estates that are more complex in nature require more supervision, and formal probate provides specific instructions for how to navigate these more nuanced matters.
For the majority of property owners in Minnesota, informal probate is sufficient. During informal probate, the estate’s designated personal representative supervises the asset distribution and the payment of all debts and taxes, typically without the direct involvement of a Minnesota probate judge. To initiate an informal probate, the personal representative for the estate or a family member of the deceased needs to file an application. Once the probate registrar approves the application, the informal probate process may begin. For more information about informal and formal probate, contact Waldron Law Offices, Ltd. today.