Probate is the process in which a deceased person’s assets are gathered, debts are paid, and assets are distributed to beneficiaries. Basically, it is the court-overseen process of wrapping up a person’s affairs. Probate can be a lengthy process. In fact, the time it takes for probate to complete is a major reason many people try to avoid probate as much as possible. In Minnesota, like other states, the exact length of time it will take to complete probate will vary depending on a number of factors.
How Long Does Probate Take in Minnesota?
It depends. Not the most satisfying answer, but it couldn’t be truer. The length of the probate process will vary greatly depending on things such as the size and complexity of the estate. More often than not, however, probate will wrap up in about six months to one year. Some estates, however, can take years to go through probate.
If there is any issue with the will or any contests to the will, probate can take even longer. Contested creditor claims can also tack on a substantial amount of time to the probate process. There may be instances where a creditor feels entitled to payment from the estate, but the personal representative may disagree or may disagree on the amount that should be paid. This kind of dispute can result in litigation, which will, of course, add more time to the amount of time probate will take.
The sale and liquidation of estate assets can also be a lengthy process. If real estate within the estate needs to be sold, the estate will remain open until the sale is completed. As many of us are aware, it can take a while to sell and finalize the sale of real estate. You are at the mercy of the market when you are looking to quickly sell property in an estate.
Additionally, there may still be someone living on the property that must be provided with proper notice prior to the selling of the real estate. In addition to the sale of real property, some assets will be liquidated. Financial accounts such as 401ks, IRAs, and pensions will be liquidated and deposited into the estate’s bank account. Liquidation will take some time as will the completion of any tax return needed to be filed as a result of the asset liquidation.
Another major factor in the length of time it will take to complete the probate process is the personal representative. The personal representative carries the burden of effectively and efficiently administering the estate. The Personal representative is tasked with filing paperwork with the probate court, gathering and managing the assets of the estate, notifying creditors of probate proceedings, paying all valid debts and taxes of the estate, and much more. This all takes time, but it can take much more time if the personal representative is not organized, does not know how to navigate the process, or not generally a reliable individual.
On top of all of this, Minnesota has a particular probate requirement in place that makes it a lengthy process from the start. In the State of Minnesota, creditors have up to four months after the initial publication of notice to file claims against the estate. Because it can easily take a month or longer after probate begins to publish notice to creditors, this means it often takes a minimum of five months after the start of probate for the creditor claims period to run.
Trusted Estate Planning Legal Counsel
If you are looking to avoid probate completely or as much as possible, this is completely understandable. It can take a great deal of time to wrap things up. Unique Estate Law can help you design an estate plan that avoids the need for probate. The time to start planning is now. Contact Unique Estate Law today.