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Real Property Requires Special Consideration In Probate

Dealing with real property – homes and investment properties – often requires special attention. Frequently, the ties to real property can be like no other asset. For example, the house in probate may be a cherished lake cabin in the family for generations or a home where parents raised the family and lived in for decades.

Posing unique challenges and opportunities during the probate process, real estate property typically represents a significant value in an estate, yet specific legal procedures govern its transfer. It also can involve complications such as existing mortgages or liens. Finally, payment of maintenance and taxes on the property must continue during probate, which can last a year or more.

Experienced Legal Guidance For House In Probate

Founded by Bill Peterson in 1983, the Bloomington-based Peterson Law Office, LLC, can be indispensable for families navigating real property concerns. We provide Minnesota-specific guidance on real estate and probate laws and can offer strategies to prevent the loss of property due to unpaid mortgages. We can also provide options for utilizing property equity to settle debts or cover estate costs.

Does The House Need To Go Through Probate?

The answer may be: No. In Minnesota, real property does not always have to go through probate. Certain conditions and estate planning tools can allow property to bypass probate, ensuring a more direct transfer to beneficiaries. Some key examples are:

  • Transfer on Death Deed: The state allows real property to pass to beneficiaries through a Transfer on Death Deed (TODD). This legal document enables the property owner to name beneficiaries who will receive the property upon the owner’s death.
  • Joint tenancy: Owning property in joint tenancy with the right of survivorship means that the property will automatically pass to the surviving owner(s) without probate.
  • Trusts: Property held in a revocable living trust does not go through probate. Instead, the trust outlines terms for transferring the property. The grantor sets this up.
  • Small Estate Affidavit: In cases where the estate’s total value falls below a certain threshold, Minnesota law allows families to avoid formal probate via a small estate affidavit.

Individuals and families can discuss these options when creating or updating their estate plans.

Leaving Lasting Legacy

Property owners must consider these options as part of their estate planning. By proactively addressing how executors will handle real property, grantors can alleviate the burden on their heirs, minimize potential conflicts and ensure a smoother transition of their assets. Consulting with an estate planning or probate attorney can help individuals understand the implications of each option and choose the best course of action for their situation.

For peace of mind and to protect your inheritance, seeking the expertise of a probate attorney is essential. Call 952-641-7312 or use our contact page to schedule an appointment.