» Probate

I don’t get along with my brother. Do I have to tell him about our mother’s estate?

All interested persons must have notice of the probate case and must have the opportunity to respond or raise any issues. “Interested person” means those close family members who would have the right to receive a portion of the estate, whether the person had a will or not. If your brother falls into this category, you would be required to give him notice. Contact Mundahl Law today if you have questions about this or other parts of a probate case you are involved in.

My family member named me as personal representative. What do I have to do?

A personal representative is the point person for the court through a probate case. They are the person who speaks with the attorney, writes any checks to distribute the estate, and goes to any hearings. They are the person responsible for making sure that the court knows everything they need to know to issue orders for the estate. If you have questions about your duties as a personal representative, call Mundahl Law today to set up a consultation.

My family member named me as a trustee. Do I need an attorney?

Similar to a probate case, while you do not need an attorney to help distribute assets from a trust, an attorney can help make the process much less stressful. Acting as a trustee can be overwhelming and time-consuming, but an attorney at Mundahl Law can help make it go much more smoothly. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss helping you with your role as trustee.

Can I get paid as a personal representative? Can I get paid as a trustee?

A person acting as a personal representative or a trustee is able to collect a reasonable fee for their services. However, you should consider whether this is something your loved one would like to see you collect or if this is something that might cause other family members to raise an issue. If you have questions about your rights and duties as a personal representative or trustee, call Mundahl Law today to set up a consultation.

How long does probate take?

The length of a probate case depends on a number of items, including whether the person had a will or not, the amount of assets involved, and whether anyone contests the will. In general, probate takes an average of 9-24 months. The shorter time is where a person has a will and there are no family members who raise an issue with anything in the probate. The longer time is usually a person who did not have a will or who has family members raising issues with the case. Contact Mundahl Law to schedule a consultation if you have questions about a probate you are involved in.

Does the probate court distribute everything?

No. There are a few assets that are called non-probate, which are distributed by the contract a person has set up with the company holding the property. For example, life insurance and retirement accounts are considered non-probate because you named a beneficiary on these items. In most cases, the probate court will not be involved with these items in any way. If you have questions about probate and non-probate assets and how to work with them in a probate you are involved in, contact Mundahl Law today.

What if someone contests the will?

Anyone who is considered an interested party has the right to contest the will. A hearing will likely be necessary, and depending on the issues raised, more hearings may be necessary. This could cause a probate matter to get complicated very quickly. If you have questions about contesting a will or if you are personal representative and expect a contest, contact Mundahl Law today for a consultation.

I have a will. Does that mean my estate won’t go through probate?

No. This is a common misconception. If you have a will, your estate will still go through probate, but the process will be much quicker and easier. If you have questions about how to avoid probate, contact Mundahl Law for a consultation about estate planning.

How much does probate cost?

The costs of probate vary based on whether the person had a will or not, the amount of assets involved, and whether anyone contests the will. In general, you can plan for $5,000-$7,000 in fees, which includes attorneys’ fees and a filing fee paid to the probate court. 

Do I have to go to court?

Whether you need to go to court depends on a number of factors, including whether the person had a will or not, the amount of assets involved, and whether anyone contests the will. If you have questions about a probate matter you are involved in, contact Mundahl Law today to set up an appointment.

Testimonials

I have been opposing counsel with Susan as well as volunteered together in the community. Susan is very generous with her time. She is a knowledgeable attorney and zealously advocates for her clients. Read More
– Ted Buselmeier

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