When you die, your estate has to pass to someone. For this reason, the law allows you to create a will that dictates how your assets will be divided. Without a will, Minnesota intestacy laws would dictate how your estate is distributed.
Probate is the legal process of winding down and distributing the decedent’s estate according to the stipulations in their will or Minnesota intestacy laws. People are often encouraged to take steps to avoid probate, but there are times when it really is the best option. Here’s why:
Finality over ownership is needed
Probate ensures that asset transfers are done in an open and orderly manner. It also eliminates questions about ownership that could come back to haunt someone. For instance, if a home is transferred through a court-supervised probate, the chain of ownership would be verifiable since there would be a clear record of asset transfer.
It’s an easy process
The probate process is pretty straightforward. If the decedent had a valid will, the executor or personal representative identifies their assets and beneficiaries, pays off any debts and applicable taxes and distributes whatever is left according to the stipulations in the will. This takes guesswork off the table as far as the decedent’s wishes go.
It shortens creditors’ chances to make claims
Probate will control how long any creditor may have to make claims against the assets in an estate. Once that time passes, creditors will be barred from further action.
It resolves inheritance disputes
And if there are disputes between the beneficiaries or concerning the validity of the will, the probate court provides a framework for their resolution within the estate. Without the finality of a decision by the probate court, inheritance disputes would easily leave a lasting rift in the family.
Probating an estate may actually be beneficial in the long run. Get experienced legal guidance to learn more.