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  • Amy Ireland

Does a Will Help Avoid Probate?

Everyone should have a will. It's the best way to make sure YOU decide who inherits your assets, and who will wrap up your estate (instead of a judge) .

White hand holding pen over typed document.

A will, however, does not help your family avoid probate. 'Probate' is the process through which a court oversees the distribution of your estate. All documents are filed publicly, and the court proceedings are public - though today probate hearings in both Hennepin and Ramsey counties are held on Zoom.

In your will, you name a personal representative - someone who will manage and distribute your estate after you die. The personal representative is the person who will handle the probate - or will hire an attorney to do so on their behalf. Attorneys are often paid by the estate, and not by the personal representative personally.

If your 'probate estate' is worth less than $75,000.00 at the time of your death, then no probate proceeding is required. An attorney can advise you on ways to reduce your 'probate estate,' and how to avoid any related pitfalls.

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