Probate and Estate Administration
Probate is one way of settling the financial estate of a decedent, that is, a person who has died. Probate is a formal court process, that either can arise intentionally (as in the creation of a will intended to be administered in a probate proceeding) or unintentionally (when, for example, the decedent left real estate owned only by the decedent, without a joint owner or held by a trust).
In a probate case, a judge appoints a personal representative of the estate to find and take control of the decedent’s assets for distribution according to law. Often, complicated issues or disputes can arise in a probate case, and the personal representative must obtain legal advice. Minnesota law allows that the reasonable legal fees and costs incurred by a personal representative generally be paid out of estate assets.
Attorney Steve Wilson is available to help estate personal representatives navigate the probate code and address the various issues that can arise in estate administration, such as, deciding whether to have the estate administered informally (without supervision by a probate judge) or formally (with a judge overseeing, and approving or disapproving, the personal representative’s decisions); settling or obtaining contested resolution of claims against the estate by interested persons, such as heirs or creditors; and obtaining related resources, such as locating tax attorneys or accountants to prepare estate tax returns.