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Probate can be overwhelming for many people, and rightfully so. The probate process is a legal proceeding that takes place when someone dies. When you’re grieving and facing the loss of a loved one, the paperwork and mere thought of having to go to court can cause many to freeze. Often a quick Google search can get you started, but far too often the Internet will lead people astray and offers far more misinformation than helpful hints. The team at Markve & Zweifel has helped hundreds of families navigate the probate process.
A few of the misconceptions we hear the most about probate include:
While there are little kernels of truth in each of those statements (yes, your Mom DID love you the most and you SHOULD get everything) they’re far from accurate.
Wills do not avoid probate – they simply serve as instructions for the probate court. Similarly, powers of attorney do not avoid probate… unless of course, you use the POA to liquidate and distribute all the assets to yourself moments before your loved one dies (please don’t, that’s illegal).
The State doesn’t get your money in probate – other than the mandatory court filing fees and costs, probate simply allocates a deceased individual’s assets to their heirs under Minnesota law or according to the terms of the will.
Some probates take longer than others, but the easiest matters can be wrapped up in as little as 4 to 6 months. More complicated probates (lots of assets that may be hard to liquidate or distribute, feuding siblings, and having to re-open or re-do a probate that was self-started by a well-intentioned client who found the forms online) will take longer.

Probate may not be the easiest way to administer an estate – trusts, properly designated beneficiary designations, and lifetime gifting, are often more efficient – but it can be pretty painless.

The lawyers have handled hundreds of probate proceedings all around Minnesota including:

If you need to probate the estate of a loved one, contact us today for a free consultation.