Minnesota Probate Law | Is Probate Such a Bad Thing?

by Flanders Law Firm LLC on June 3, 2014

Minnesota Probate Law  Payment of DebtsProbate is the process in which a court (or possibly a referee in Minnesota) makes a decision about a deceased person’s assets and debts – which are in that deceased person’s name only.

A Minnesota Probate is not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be avoided and it is expensive. Often, probates are not necessary if, upon a person’s death, that person leaves their assets to a named beneficiary. For instance, common named beneficiaries are joint bank account holders, life insurance beneficiaries, retirement account beneficiaries, and joint tenancy beneficiaries.

Minnesota Probate Law | Transfer of Title to Avoid Probate

For example, when discussing Minnesota estate planning and transfer of title to real property (homes), my office often drafts transfer on death deeds for parties that are in need of re-titling property upon their death to their loved ones.

For instance, when or advising people on wills or trusts, I often ask how the real property is titled. I am often surprised how many people have not properly titled their home or another residence which they own. Many people do not know that when they die their homes or other real property do not get transferred automatically.  This created the immediate need for a probate so that the county court of their particular residence will be able to effectively administer their estate.

Is probate such a bad thing?

Therefore, it is always my device that people engage in estate planning when they can. What does estate planning mean? It means that everyone who has any kind of money should think about how they want to pass upon their death or incapacity.

It also means, at times, trying to avoid probate. I’ve often been asked why wills and trusts are necessary.  My general responses is “because everyone, whether they know it or not, is governed by Minnesota law as it relates to their estates and/or probate law.”  It cannot be avoided and you should understand what that means. 

Probate in Minnesota is not necessarily a bad thing.  It is simply process by which property and titles are transferred effectively by a judge. Probate is also a good way to make sure that grandchildren children have a process by which a court of supervising their actions and wants.  When elderly parents die, their children often fight like cats and dogs over their parent’s money. In this instance, the probate court and the judge supervising can be a very good thing. In conclusion, it’s important to understand what probate is and why it is necessary. It is not something to be afraid of, but it can be avoided.

At the end of the day, it often can be a good thing it preferable to other avenues of dispute resolution but many people will want to avoid it due to the cost.

For further questions on Minnesota probate, estate planning, wills and trusts, brother questions about your loved ones assets, please contact Flanders Law Firm LLC to speak with a qualified probate attorney at 612-424-0398.

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