Wills, Trusts, Elder Law
Executing a will is not as simple as plugging names and numbers into a spreadsheet. Every estate plan should be as unique as the individual for whom it is prepared. At Johnston | Martineau, PLLP, we work one on one with our clients to identify their needs and help ensure their goals are met.
The lawyers at Johnston | Martineau, PLLP, serve individuals and families throughout the Twin Cities. Determining what types of estate planning tools are right for you can be challenging without the help of an experienced attorney. We educate our clients about the advantages and disadvantages of:
• Simple and complex wills
• Living wills
• Revocable and irrevocable trusts
• Powers of attorney
• Health care directives
• Elder Law
We never steer our clients in a direction that is not right for them nor do we take a boiler plate approach to estate planning. Every client is unique and, therefore, every estate plan must be unique as well. We take the time to identify your needs and wishes then explain your options providing the pros and cons to each.
Whether in the courtroom, the boardroom, or your family room, the lawyers of Johnston | Martineau, PLLP, provide strong representation in an effective, honest, no-nonsense manner
pro•bate – [proh-beyt] noun
1. Law. The official proving of a will as authentic or valid in a probate court.
2. An officially certified copy of a will so proved.
3. Of or pertaining to probate or a probate court. verb (used with object), pro•bat•ed, pro•bat•ing.
4. To establish the authenticity or validity of (a will).
1400–50; late Middle English probat < Latin prob?tum a thing approved, noun use of neuter past participle of prob?re to test and find good;
Probate is a process that proves the will of a deceased person is valid, so their property can in be re-titled if necessary or transferred to beneficiaries of the will. As with any legal proceeding, there are technical aspects to probate administration and the following list is not meant to be exhaustive:
• Creditors must be notified and legal notices published.
• Executors of the will must be guided in how and when to distribute assets and how to take creditors' rights into account.
• A Petition to appoint a personal representative may need to be filed and letters of administration obtained.
• Homestead property is often dealt with separately from other assets.
• There are time factors involved in filing and objecting to claims against the estate.
• There may be a lawsuit pending over the decedent's death or there may have been pending suits that are now continuing. There may be separate procedures required in contentious probate cases.
• Real estate or other property may need to be sold to effect correct distribution of assets pursuant to the will or merely to pay debts.
• Estate taxes, gift taxes or inheritance taxes must be considered if the estate exceeds certain thresholds.
• Costs of the administration including ordinary taxation such as income tax on interest and property taxation is deducted from assets in the estate before distribution by the executors of the will.
• Other assets may simply need to be transferred from the deceased to his or her beneficiaries, such as life insurance. Other assets may have pay on death or transfer on death designations, which avoids probate.
The lawyers of Johnston | Martineau, PLLP are ready and able to effectively and competently guide you through this sometimes difficult and emotional process.