Since probate is a court process, all probate records are public records that anyone can read and access. Minnesota also has remote viewing of summarized probate records so that much of the information can now be found online from anywhere in the world.
It has recently been reported that the legendary singer, Aretha Franklin, died without a will or a trust. How do we know? Frankin's niece filed a petition with the probate court in Michigan seeking to be appointed as personal representative and indicating that there is no will. In Michigan and every other state (including Minnesota), probate is public record. Soon, the type, size, and value of Franklin's assets and debts will...
Unfortunately, just because someone has a will does not mean that their estate will not go through probate.
What is probate?
Probate is the legal process of settling an estate after a person has died. A petition must be filed with the court and a personal representative must be appointed. The personal representative is responsible for: collection, inventory, and appraisal of assets of the person who died, protection of the estat...
Comedian Stephen Colbert popularized the term “truthiness”, defined to mean “the quality of seeming or being felt to be true, even if not necessarily true”. For “probate”, truthiness abounds! Here are three myths, and three truths about the probate and estate settlement process:
Many speakers at estate planning “seminars” will state the cost of probating an estate at 4-6% of the value of the estate: for a $1,000,000 esta...
Probate is the usual process of settling a person's affairs after they have died.
This includes paying debts and final expenses, collecting the assets, and distributing to the heirs. However, probate is not always required. Probate is just one way by which assets can pass to a person's heirs.
There are essentially four ways in which assets pass to heirs:
Under Minnesota law, personal representatives are required to take an inventory of the assets in the decedent’s estate. However, before taking the inventory, the personal representative must request, and accept, appointment by the court. The personal representative cannot begin the inventory process without first being appointed by the court.