A Trusted Guide Through The Probate Process
Losing a loved one is always difficult, and the last thing you want to do when you are grieving is deal with legal issues. Having an experienced, trusted attorney available to take over your legal matter can allow you to focus on yourself and your family.
I am attorney Andrew Titus. I founded Titus Law Office, PLLC, in order to help families just like yours through common legal problems such as probate, family law issues and defending people charged with a crime. With over 15 years of experience representing families in southwest Minnesota, I understand the probate laws and will guide you through each step of your case. I can represent you as the personal representative nominated to handle the probate or as an heir of the person who died, known as the decedent.
What Can You Expect From The Probate Process
If you are the nominated personal representative, you have many legal responsibilities for completing the probate process. In general, you must:
- Open the probate with the court – The court will appoint you as the estate’s representative, and you will notify all other interested parties, including heirs and creditors, of the probate. If the decedent had a will, you file that with the court.
- Collecting the assets – You are now in charge of all assets in the estate as if they were your own. You must protect them, track them and have them valuated. You may need to sell some assets, such as real estate.
- Paying outstanding debts – Some debts left behind by the decedent must be paid, but not necessarily all. I will help you determine the debts that are appropriate for payment.
- Distribute the remaining assets – You will then create a final accounting of the assets that are left and create a proposed distribution of those assets to the heirs or the people named in the will.
The process often takes much longer than people expect. Many clients come to me concerned with how they will pay for an attorney’s time, as well as how much of their own time they will have to spend. Minnesota law allows you to pay for any court fees and attorney fees, as well as a reasonable fee for acting as personal representative, out of the estate assets.
When Disputes Arise Out Of Probate
Unfortunately, disagreements happen among family and friends during the probate process. Perhaps the decedent’s will contains unexpected bequests or the appointed personal representative does not seem to be doing their job. Examples of common probate litigation include contesting the meaning or validity of the will, challenging the personal representative and denying claims made by creditors.
Whatever the dispute, I will first try to negotiate the situation in an effort to settle the problem quickly and efficiently to save the estate time and money. If that is not possible, however, I am an experienced trial attorney ready to take the matter before the court.
I Am Here To Help
You do not need to handle these issues on your own. The probate process is complex and often requires extensive legal knowledge of Minnesota law. Allow me to handle the legal process for you. To learn more, you may schedule a free initial consultation by calling my office in Worthington at 507-295-4453 or sending a message online.