Minneapolis Probate FAQ

A will with a gavel next to it


What is Probate?

Probate is the process in which heirs work with a court to appoint someone (personal representative) to handle administering an estate. The personal representative takes on the task of paying final expenses, debts, collecting assets, selling property and distributing the balance. The personal representative has the obligation to distribute the estate according to the wishes of the decedent or, if there is no will, according to state law.

Does the Probate process take a long time?

Be aware that no matter the situation, probate may be a lengthy process often taking months or possibly years to play out, and one which may take a considerable amount of an executor’s time.

To summarize the process, in the simplest terms, probate can be broken into six basic steps:

  1. Asking the court to appoint the personal representative (and validate the Will)
  2. Inventory estate
  3. Settle debts (claims, taxes or other debts)
  4. Sell assets that cannot be divided between the heirs/beneficiaries
  5. Distribute remaining assets
  6. File a closing statement with the court to discharge personal representative

Each of these steps involve legal documentation and validation, and more importantly, proper accounting each step of the way.

What is Probate Court?

Probate begins and ends with filing an action in Probate Court All actions taken regarding the estate are accountable to this court, and must be noted and reported regularly. In larger counties, the probate court is staffed by special judges qualified to oversee estate resolution issues.

Does a will have to be probated?

After a death when the deceased left a will, it is common to question whether a will must be probated or not. In most cases, the probate process is necessary. However, the full probate process may not need to take place if the estate meets certain conditions. For example, the full probate process may not necessary if the value of the estate assets is $75,000 or less and there is no probate real estate.

How long does the will probate process take?

The specific length of time that the process is going to take will vary.  Before COVID, the probate process took about around 6 months. But, now it takes much longer. We work to ensure that you do everything possible to move the process forward as quickly as possible.

What are the duties of an executor?

The executor of an estate has a legal obligation to handle all matters related to the estate during the probate process. The executor of is obligated to file court paperwork to open the probate. After opening the probate, the executor must provide notice to heirs or beneficiaries. Then the court appoints the executor who will need to collect, and properly transfer ownership of, assets.  Because an executor can be held personally liable for mistakes, it is a good idea to hire an experienced probate lawyer such as Chris Tymchuck at Unique Estate Law.

Should you hire a probate lawyer?

If you are involved in the probate process in any way, as an executor of an estate, as one of the heirs or beneficiaries, or as someone who wishes to contest a will, you should talk with a probate lawyer at Unique Estate Law. Give us a call today to find out more.

From within Hennepin County Unique Estate Law represents clients throughout Minnesota, including Minneapolis, Bloomington, St. Louis Park, Minnetonka, Wayzata, Chanhassen, and Excelsior for their probate legal needs.