When is a probate required in Minnesota?

When is probate required in MinnesotaWhen is Probate Required?

Probate is required when a deceased person owned assets in his/her name alone at the time of their death, and those assets were worth more than $75,000.

Furthermore, when there is real estate (a home) that belonged to the deceased person in his/her name alone, a probate will always be required – even if the value of the property could arguably be less than $75,000. This is because the title to the property will not transfer to a new buyer without court supervision of the probate process.

The next question you might have is, what is probate?

The probate process is, generally, the legal process by which a personal representative (executor) is appointed and that person is responsible to do a number of tasks on behalf of the estate:

  • – Collect, inventory, appraise, and distribute assets pursuant to a Will or by the laws of intestacy;
  • – Pay the valid, non-exempt, debts of the deceased;
  • – Protection of the estate assets;
  • – Finally, making distributions and accounting to the court.

The above process is not all inclusive. Every deceased person’s estate is different. A probate attorney should always be consulted with.

What if there was a Will?

A common misconception is that a probate is not necessary if a person had a Will. In many cases, this is simply not true. If someone dies and they have a Will, the determining factor are assets worth more than $75,000 in the deceased’s name alone. We discussed this above. In essence, a Will is only an instruction by the deceased as to how they want their assets passed to their loved ones or charitable institutions. It does not change the legal assets, debt, and real property issues discussed above.

Informal versus Formal Probate

The differences between an informal probate and a formal probate are, mainly, that an informal probate often does not have court supervision. The formal probate does.

What are some circumstances when a informal probate will not be allowed by a court:

  • – the estate has more debts than assets (insolvent)
  • – there are unknown heirs or hard-to-locate heirs
  • – the Original Will cannot be found
  • – there is a disagreement among the heirs or devisess;
  • – if there are minor heirs
  • – if there is a medical assistance claim by the State of Minnesota.

There are other reasons why an informal administration may not be allowed. For futher questions on that issue, you should consult with an experienced probate lawyer.

Minnesota Probate Attorneys

For more information about when a probate is required, please contact Joseph M. Flanders at Flanders Law Firm LLC at 612-424-0398.

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