What is probate and is it necessary?

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2022 | Estate Planning

If a recently deceased family member left behind assets or unsettled affairs, legal intervention may be necessary to settle those matters. In many cases, the court requires a supervised probate process to settle your loved one’s estate.

Here is what you need to know about this process in Minnesota.

What is probate?

Probate is the process used by the courts to verify and execute the will of a deceased loved one. After a loved one passes away, your family must file his or her will with a probate court in order to validate its contents. The court will then appraise all assets, properties, debts and claims that the deceased left behind. After this assessment, the court handles the distribution of the deceased’s estate to established recipients, as well as the settlement of any outstanding debts or taxes.

When is probate required?

Probate is necessary to ensure proper allocation and distribution of the decedent’s estate. The process certifies the fair execution of the decedent’s final wishes. The proceedings guarantee that all of your loved one’s beneficiaries receive their inheritances and ensure compliance with his or her instructions about what to do with personal or business assets. Unless the person has established a living trust for their assets prior to their passing, you must undergo probate proceedings after a loved one’s death.

Probate can be time-consuming under many circumstances. However, proper estate planning prior to the end of your or a family member’s life can make the process faster and easier to execute after death.