Elder Law Attorney Minnesota
When you look for an elder law attorney, you’re taking an important step to ensuring your family and friends are cared for after your death. Grief is a powerful emotion, and your loved ones deserve all the time they need to focus on coping with your loss – and not coping with legal paperwork.
But what kind of legal issues will your loved ones be dealing with? If you leave behind a will, they shouldn’t have to worry much, right? Unfortunately, things aren’t ever as easy as you want them to be. Fortunately, an elder law attorney in Minnesota from Johnston Martineau PLLP can help you make asset distribution as streamlined as possible for your loved ones.
Read this FAQ to learn more about how your estate will be divided after your death, and learn more about how you can make the process easier for your family and friends.
What Does My Will Do?
In short, a will provides instructions and a list of what you own, as well as who should get what after your death. If you die without leaving behind a will, your family and friends will have no idea what kind of assets you’re leaving behind. And even if they did know what your estate held, your assets wouldn’t be distributed according to any instructions at all. Instead, the state will appoint a representative to handle the division of your property, and that representative might not be your first choice.
When you die without leaving behind a will, you’re setting your loved ones up for lots of legal drama they they shouldn’t have to deal with. On the other hand, when you die and leave a will behind, they’ll still have to deal with legal issues, but much less. Make no mistake: A will means probate, and probate means problems. But it’s much better to have a will than no will at all.
What is Probate?
When you die and leave behind a will, your assets don’t just magically appear where you want them to go. All of your collections, properties, investments, and other heirlooms and possessions need to be processed by a probate court. If your will names an executor, it’s their responsibility to make sure the process moves right along – so make sure you name someone you can trust.
Probate involves many different steps, and it’s a source of frustration for many grieving families. The executor will have to notify all of the beneficiaries named in your will, and they’ll have to make sure the will meets the state’s requirements. Everything needs to be authenticated before the process can continue.
After the will is authenticated, the executor needs to track down assets and have those assets valued by a professional, typically a third party that requires payment for their expertise. The assets need to be transferred, and fees (and estate taxes, if your estate is big enough) will have to be paid off before any of your beneficiaries sees a cent. And finally, after all this, your assets (or what’s left of them) will be distributed according to your wishes, as expressed in the will.
What Can an Elder Law Attorney do for Me?
Wills can be complicated and difficult to set up by yourself, and if you want your will to be approved by your state, an elder law lawyer can make sure everything is up to standards. Additionally, an elder law attorney can help you consider your other estate planning options to make life a little easier for your family and friends after your death. Get in touch with an elder law attorney today, and start planning for the future.