MN Probate Lawyer
When a family member dies, people often have questions about the legal process and probate (the distribution of that person’s assets and payment of debts), whether it is necessary, how much it will cost, and how long it will take. This is understandable since the time following a death is usually a whirlwind of events along with emotional realization and acceptance. In Minnesota, probate occurs when someone who was a resident of the state at the time of their death passes. If that person has real estate in other states, those properties are subject to the probate laws in that state. It is also important to remember that just because someone has a will, this does not necessarily avoid the probate process.
For most estates, the main reason for probate is to transfer solely owned real estate or other assets with a title, such as stock, mutual funds, vehicles, personal property, and anything that doesn’t have a designated beneficiary. Items such as life insurance and retirement plans, any assets contained within a trust, properties with joint ownership, and joint bank accounts are not subject to probate.
Depending upon in whose name title was held, it may be possible to avoid probate altogether. If probate is necessary, the minimum length of time to open and close a probate proceeding is about six months. This is because Minnesota Law requires four months of notice be given to interested parties and creditors. Resolution of tax or issues may also keep a probate open. However, during that time, a family allowance may be paid, and, depending upon circumstances, partial distributions to heirs may also occur.
How Much Does Probate Cost?
The cost of a probate varies with the complexity of issues and nature of assets in the estate. The total cost for conducting an uncontested probate is typically around $4,300.00, from opening to closing, and complete distribution of assets. This usually includes the following:
- Final personal income tax return;
- Estate tax return;
- Income tax return for the estate itself;
- Petition for appointment of personal representative (executor); court appearance if needed;
- Payment of claims and bills of the estate, and determination of validity of claims;
- Ensuring proper notice to creditors and interested parties;
- Notice to Minnesota Department of Health/County to clear medical assistance liens;
- Preparation of final account and plan of distribution;
- Petition for the discharge of personal representative; and
- Filing fees.
Professional Probate Attorneys
When choosing a probate attorney, you will want to choose someone who has years of experience in handling probate matters, someone who specializes in these legal issues. Charles Kallemeyn has more than 20 years in handling real estate and probate areas of the law and will proficiently walk with you during this difficult and complicated time. There are many aspects involved with administrating an estate during probate, and you will want someone who knows what they are doing so that you can move on with your life. Closure is not just emotional but also physical, and the probate process helps people reach closure by resolving the physical aspects of a person’s estate after they pass.
Because many people are uncomfortable with an open ended, hourly rate agreement for uncontested probates, we will often be able to use a flat fee retainer agreement so the total cost is known to the client from the start. This flat fee will vary depending on the complexity of the estate, so for probate matters, we offer a free consultation if you mention this website. For more information, contact our office at 763-427-5131 or contact Charles Kallemeyn at Charles@Kallemeyn.com