When the court is involved in distributing assets after a loved one’s death, many people in Minnesota worry about what the process involves. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by stories of stressful, complicated probate situations.
However, probate is often a good thing. In tricky or confusing circumstances, probate court enables things to go more smoothly. Here are some situations in which probate helps.
When someone dies without a will, that means they died intestate. This leaves the decedent’s wishes unknown. Dying intestate, therefore, requires the state to determine the rightful recipients of the estate.
State laws concerning intestate wills and rightful heirs are sometimes complex. Fortunately, though probate may be complex, it is not chaotic. Clearly defined processes are in place to allocate assets correctly.
Sometimes, a decedent has a will, but the will is invalid. An invalid will creates a situation similar to dying intestate.
There are several ways a will can be invalid, and the loved ones left behind might benefit tremendously from probate in such cases. For instance, if a decedent created their will while under duress or in a confused mental state, probate helps everyone determine more suitable arrangements.
In some cases, a loved one of the decedent wishes to contest a will. Probate is necessary at such times. This situation is often the one that frightens people the most. However, a contested will is not a free-for-all, and probate will still follow prescribed methods of handling estates.
Through the prospect of dealing with probate is stressful, you don’t need to assume the worst. If you’re concerned about handling probate issues, you might benefit from contacting an attorney with experience in probate law.