Estate Planning & Probate FAQ's

Why do I need to have an estate plan?

Having a comprehensive estate plan in place insulates your property and your dignity against uncertainty at the time of your passing.  By creating a will or a trust with the aid of a skilled estate planning lawyer and taking advantage of legal tools such as powers of attorney and advance healthcare directives, you are putting a plan in place that can help guarantee that your assets reach your loved ones, in accordance with your wishes after your death.  It also ensures that your own medical and financial interests are protected in the event of incapacitation or other unfortunate developments.

What are the benefits of having a will?

Wills are ideal for individuals whose wealth portfolios are relatively simple and don’t necessarily need the flexibility a trust provides.  Establishing a will is a fairly quick and inexpensive process and having a valid will in place at the time of your passing is an excellent way to ensure that the distribution of your assets takes place in accordance with your wishes after your death.  Ask Kevin K. Shoeberg, a seasoned estate panning attorney, about what other advantages a will offers for those who are seeking to establish a comprehensive, yet affordable estate plan.

What are the advantages of having a trust?

A trust is a far more versatile legal tool compared to a will.  For example, trusts can be used to manage an individual’s wealth during their lifetime on behalf of beneficiaries as well as after their death.  Although more expensive to establish, trusts, unlike wills, don’t have to be subjected to the probate process to be rendered legally valid.  Trusts are also ideal for families who have complicated asset portfolios and who wish to shield their wealth from superfluous taxation or other factors that can decimate an estate.  

What is probate court?

Probate court is the process by which a will becomes recognized as legally valid in the State of Minnesota.  The creator of a will names a personal representative or executor in the will, and this individual becomes responsible for overseeing wills passage through probate court after its author’s passing.  The personal representative is responsible for collecting the assets of the decedent, paying legitimate debts to tax agencies and other creditors, and then dividing what remains of the estate among the heirs named in the will. Depending on your circumstances, we may even be able to help you avoid going to probate court all together.