Probate and the Personal Representative, A Series: Part I, Paying for the Probate

Minnesota Probate Lawyer Explains Who Is Responsible for Paying Probate Fees

Recently, a client came to me to help her handle her father’s estate. Dad had been sick for many years and attempted to plan as orderly a transition as possible after his death. He had a will drafted by an attorney and discussed his wishes with his loved ones. The main asset was a money market account that would be paid out according to the will.

At our first meeting, I explained how probate works and the fees involved. The client asked the inevitable question: “who pays for the probate?” I explained to her that the estate is responsible for paying any fees associated with probate. “Well, there is money in an account, but how do I get that money out?” OR “The bank told me I can’t get the money until the court appoints me as personal representative. How do I pay the fees now?” As a Minnesota probate lawyer, I hear this question a lot.

This is a common example of the circular problem client’s encounter when trying to find a way to pay for probate.  The personal representative needs to pay to open up a probate, but can’t get the money until the probate is done. Unfortunately, for the client in the above situation, she will be forced to front the money for working through the probate until she is officially appointed by the court and can then access the money that has been frozen since her father died.

Contact a Minnesota probate attorney now to ask about the process of opening a probate.

Now that we’ve discussed the circular nature of probate fees, next up in the series: What are the fees involved with probate?