What Are The Steps Involved In Probating An Estate?

You may be surprised to learn that even if a loved one created a will before they died, the estate may still have to go through the probate process in Minnesota. Estates containing more than $75,000 worth of probate assets — that is, real or personal property owned solely by the deceased — must go through the probate process.At Mary Ebb Law, we are experienced in helping clients through the probate process. Here is a list of the events in a typical probate case, as well as a few pointers about making estate planning and administration easier.

Probating An Estate 101: The Basic Sequence Of Events

The steps in the probate process often look like this:

  • A personal representative for the estate is designated by court order.
  • All assets subject to probate are gathered, inventoried and assessed for their value at the time of death.
  • The personal represented will need to obtain an EIN (employer identification number) for the estate.
  • An estate checking account is established to pay final household bills and estate expenses.
  • Bills, expenses, taxes and debts are paid out of the estate first. Creditors have four months after probate notice is given to file a claim against the estate.
  • Remaining assets are transferred according to the terms of the will or the state’s laws of intestate succession.
  • After all assets have been distributed, the personal representative will file a closing document that provides and accounting of all income, payments and distributions for the estate.

As noted above, a probate case will run for at least four months due to the creditor notification period. Some cases can run 18 months or longer.

Accounts That May Not Have To Go Through Probate

Certain types of property or assets typically do not have to go through probate, including:

  • Joint tenancy property
  • Jointly held bank accounts
  • Bank accounts that are marked as “Payable On Death” for a named beneficiary
  • Life insurance proceeds

Living trusts can be set up to allow you to transfer almost any asset you own to a successor trustee after you die. You can ask your lawyer to help you set up a trust as part of doing your doing your estate planning.

Mary Ebb Law = Your Go-To Probate Resource

Our attorney advises clients in Ramsey County, including White Bear Lake and Roseville, about a variety of probate and estate administration matters. Call 651-323-2236 or use our online form to get started.