When a loved one passes, some of the first questions asked are:
“Did he/she have a Will?”
“Where is the Will?”
“Who is in charge of settling the estate?”
“What will I receive or inherit from the estate?”
“Do we need to probate the Will?”
“Do we need a probate lawyer to help us?”
These questions are a good starting point for identifying the steps that may be needed to settle the loved one’s estate. However, most people cannot readily or easily answer these questions.
The person or people who will need to settle an estate are often unsure if there was a Will or where the Will is located. It is very helpful for a person with a Will to let at least one of their loved ones know that they have a Will and where to find the Will.
Perhaps a more important question is who was named or nominated in the Will as the Personal Representative. The Personal Representative, sometimes referred to as the executor, is the person who will control the administration of an estate. You may want to think of the Personal Representative as the quarterback or team leader. This person will likely have a lot of responsibility in the estate administration.
Once the questions about the existence of a Will and who is nominated to be the Personal Representative are answered, it is necessary to determine whether a probate will be needed. A “probate” is a court proceeding to determine who is in charge of settling the estate and who will inherit what from the estate. Under Minnesota law, a probate will be needed for any estate where the person died owning real estate in Minnesota in their own name and/or Minnesota assets in excess of $50,000 that were not subject to transfer on death beneficiary designations.
Once you have located the Will and identified who is nominated as the Personal Representative, it is a good idea to speak with an experienced probate attorney about what to do next. Our firm provides a free probate consultation after the death of loved one to discuss what needs to be done to settle the estate. Call today – 612-756-7272.