Making The Probate Process Less Painful
When someone dies in Minnesota, the probate process determines the division of an estate among heirs and beneficiaries. If a will or court names you an executor, you may have questions on how to proceed.
Probate is the process of gathering a deceased person’s assets and distributing them to heirs and inheritors. As an estate executor, your role is to guide the estate through the process of dividing money and property.
The probate process, along with grieving the death of a loved one, can be especially difficult and overwhelming. We can help explain the process and the steps you need to take and support you in making the process run smoothly.
Helping You Be A Successful Executor
If you are appointed an executor of an estate, you may feel overwhelmed by what you must do. Probate proceedings in Minnesota must be initiated within three years of a person’s death in the county where the deceased lived at the time of death.
The probate process, in simple cases, can be summarized with these steps:
- File a petition to begin probate
- Give notice to creditors and beneficiaries
- Inventory assets subject to probate
- Pay bills and debts
- Distribute remaining assets
- Close the estate
When acting as an executor, it is important to file the paperwork quickly and follow the steps to ensure nothing is missed. Being honest and communicative with the family can help to prevent future conflicts.
Depending on the complexity and size of the estate, probate can take anywhere from a couple of months to a few years. Working with an experienced probate attorney can help make the process smoother and may help it move faster.
No matter the size of the estate, everyone can benefit from legal guidance and help. From help filing the initial paperwork to providing guidance on the will’s instructions, a lawyer can take some of the stress out of the process.
Keeping Your Family Together During The Probate Process
After seeing hundreds of probate cases throughout my career, Attorney Peterson has seen the toll probate can take on a family. As an executor, you will work closely with the heirs of the deceased and have a front-row seat to the grief and mourning that accompanies losing a loved one.
Sometimes, the death of a loved one can bring out the worst in families. Old sibling rivalries may resurface, and perceived inequities can flourish when dividing someone’s assets, especially in blended families. As an executor, you may not be able to control a dysfunctional family or solve any deep-seated problems. However, you can help defuse the situation by being transparent and communicative so nobody feels left out of the process. If you can, act as a mediator to diffuse any volatile situations or bring in a professional mediator to help work through the disagreements.
If the decedent took steps to prepare an estate plan that addresses every aspect of the estate, your job might be a little easier when dealing with hurt family members. Even with the best-prepared estate plans, feelings can still get hurt. Because of this possibility, you could help yourself get ahead of any conflict by seeking legal assistance throughout the probate process.
Don’t Face Probate Alone
Attorney Bill Peterson can provide the assistance you need to address issues that may arise during the probate process. Call Peterson Law Office, LLC, at 952-641-7312 or fill out an online form to schedule a consultation.