May 16, 2019

We’ve discussed how assets pass after death in previous posts on our blog, but how do we know when a probate is actually required?

The assets owned by a deceased person can be split into two separate categories: probate assets and non-probate assets.

Non-probate assets are those assets that have a beneficiary or pay-on-death designation, have a joint owner who has a right of survivorship, or those assets administered by a trust....

November 6, 2018

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.

August 23, 2018

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...

June 19, 2018

A homestead is more than just a home. Homes are places where families have made memories over the years, a source of pride for the owners, and one of the largest financial investments a person will have. Understanding how a homestead will transfer upon your death is something that needs to be considered in advance.

Minnesota law has some special provisions for the disposition of a homestead after the death of an individual. A h...

May 25, 2018

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...

April 17, 2017

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...