Adult Child’s Probate | Answers from Minnesota Law

Do you have questions about handling an adult child’s probate?  Few things hurt more than having to bury a child of any age.Adult Child's Probate

Yet over time, you can move on with your life with the help of family and friends – and even new acquaintances. While your pain may never fully go away – you can find ways to live with it and enjoy this world again. After all, your beloved and departed child would want you to move on.

Yet apart from addressing your grief — how should you move forward with handling your adult child’s probate? Your path forward will largely be determined by whether or not your adult child was married or living with a “significant other” at the time of his/her death – and the identity of your child’s designated personal representative or executor.

Here are some general estate-related topics you’ll want to address with your Minnesota probate attorney at this difficult time in your life.

Issues Surviving Parents May Need to Face in an Adult Child’s Probate

  • Did your son or daughter leave behind a spouse or significant other? If so, you should make every attempt to move forward with probating your adult child’s estate on as friendly of terms as possible – especially if you were named as the personal representative or executor of your adult child’s probate. If you were not named as the personal representative of your adult child’s estate, you must move forward even more sensitively, especially if there are major possessions (or property) and keepsakes you hope to reclaim at some point;

Were there any grandchildren born to the couple – regardless of their marital status?

Be aware that this will require extreme sensitivity on your part so you can preserve or create meaningful visitation rights with the child or children. Should the surviving parent have serious addiction or other personal problems that must be addressed right away, you may need to consider adopting the children – or making other arrangements that are in their best interests;

  • Address your own grief sooner rather than later. If you do not have a spouse or close friends you can lean on for emotional support, ask others in your community where you can obtain sliding-scale or discounted therapy sessions if your funds are low.
  • You can also visit psychologytoday.com to locate a counselor. Should you be a member of any faith community, reach out for help in that setting.
  • Finally, be aware that some Internet websites can put you in touch with others who are grieving. Of course, you should never give out your full name or actual location to any strangers online – as some people may try to take advantage of you. (Some online resources are set forth below);
  • Did your son or daughter own considerable property in his/her name? Your attorney can help you look into this so you can make sure no one is able to try and sell or otherwise dispose of this property before the estate is probated – or passed on under your adult child’s estate plan;
  • Did your deceased child have any siblings? Do what you can to discuss major decisions (such as where to bury your son or daughter) with your other surviving children. Try to see that each surviving sibling receives something of either financial or sentimental value from the deceased child. Since your surviving children will be watching how you handle your own grief — try to set an example by reaching out for some counseling;
  • How will you handle burial, cremation and other related issues? Of course, you should first try to honor any instructions your child may have left behind in any legal documents. If no such documents exist, then you (and/or your spouse) will ideally need to coordinate this decision with a surviving spouse or significant other of your deceased child;
  • Do you know what to expect under Minnesota laws if your adult child died intestate – or without a Will or any type of estate plan? Your attorney can explain how the state will handle this situation – based upon the identity and legal relationships all survivors had with your adult child.

Be Sure to Visit Your Lawyer and Consider Looking at These Online Resources

After scheduling an appointment with your Minnesota probate attorney regarding the estate of your son or daughter, you may want to visit some of the following online resources.  An adult child’s probate is a serious issue which requires legal counsel.  While our firm cannot directly endorse any of these sites – a number of them were consulted during the drafting of this article. Each one provides useful information for those who are grieving or still acting in a caregiving capacity on behalf of a sick family member.

Compassionate friends.org; Griefhealing.com; Mastersincounseling.org (This one says it offers links to 115 useful grief websites); Helpguide.org; and psychologytoday.com. Of course, you’ll need to add a “www” and a “dot” before each of these website names. Should you still be caring for a very ill adult child now and need added support — or simply need a way to keep many others updated on his/her condition, you may want to create a profile on the often highly praised website: Caringbridge.org.

Our office is here to help you as you move forward during this difficult time.

Adult Child’s Probate Lawyers

Free Initial Consultations

Contact the Flanders Law Firm today. The firm offers free consultations to all potential clients. Call(612) 424-0398.

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