When a loved one passes away, you may find that you’ve been named as the estate administrator. This is called a personal representative in Minnesota, and it is just a person who is responsible for administering that estate through the probate process. Ideally, the individual who passed away left behind a will and other instructions, and the administrator can then follow those instructions.
Whether or not you need an attorney depends on numerous different factors, but it can be very beneficial. One thing to consider is that you can have informal or formal probate. The formal process is often more complex and, even when an attorney is not legally required, this is very difficult to carry out without assistance. Even the informal probate process can get to be very complicated, especially if there are significant debts, a lack of an estate plan or disputes between the beneficiaries.
What should I expect?
There are numerous different steps that you have to take, starting with taking account of all the assets and inventorying them to make sure they all exist. You can pass out copies of the will and distribute these assets to the heirs. You should also expect to do things like paying off debts for the estate, dealing with real estate, paying taxes, transferring financial accounts, closing accounts and handling other things of this nature. There are many small steps that need to be taken to handle the entire estate from a financial perspective.
As you can see, this can get very complicated with a large estate, so make sure you know about the legal options at your disposal when handling the probate of a loved one’s estate.