What to do if my mom recently passed away and did not have a Will?

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What to do if my mom recently passed away and did not have a Will?

She had a mortgage for $89,000 and about $5,000 in personal property with about $80 in cash. She had a life insurance policy for about $20,000. She donated her body so we had no funeral cost ;we just had a memorial at her home. She owed about $10,000 to credit card companies. I am trying to find out if I have to file a informal or formal probate. Also, my family wants me to be the personal representative (is it included in the paperwork when filing the formal or informal probate).

Asked on June 11, 2013 under Estate Planning, Minnesota

Answers:

Matthew Majeski / Majeski Law, LLC

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Keep in mind, you aren't required to do anything.  The estate will need to be probated because there was no will (the life insurance policy will not be a part of that).  A personal reprsentative will be responsible for paying off creditors and distributing leftover assets to the appropriate heirs based on Minnesota's instestacy statute.  You likely could do this estate informally if there is no plan to contest anything amongst the heirs.

Tricia Dwyer / Tricia Dwyer Esq & Associates PLLC

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Hello. I am sorry for the loss of your mother. When a probate is needed, the Minnesota courts recommend that you seek attorney counsel. This website provides only general information and is no substitute for legal counsel. I do urge you seek private attorney assistance at this time. Informal probate is an unsupervised process. Minnesota law specifically gives the court the authority to reject an application for an informal probate for any reason. An informal probate will not be accepted if one or more of several issues or factors are involved. Formal probate matters may be supervised or unsupervised. Some attorneys, myself included, are available seven days for emergency legal needs. Many attorneys will confer initially at no charge. Then, if legal work is performed, some attorneys, myself included, will provide a reduced fee for financial hardship. Some attorneys, myself included, may also assist you in limited scope manner to conserve legal costs. All the best.


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