A small estate exists when there are probate assets that do not exceed $75,000. Whether or not something is a probate asset can be difficult to answer and it is advised that a probate attorney make the determination to ensure the assets are handled correctly.

Once the small estate affidavit has been completed, the assets can be transferred without formally appointing a personal representative through the court. There is also no need to provide notice to interested persons such as children, creditors, or a spouse.

The correct form to use to transfer assets in a small estate is an Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property. The form is also sometimes called the Small Estate Affidavit. The process is governed by Minn. Stat. §524.3-1201. The form should only be filled out by a blood relative of the decedent or an individual who has a legal interest in the decedent’s property.

If you do not know if you have a legal interest in the property you should contact a probate attorney. Some examples of having a legal interest are:

  • A person named as the recipient of the property in the Decedent’s will;
  • The spouse of the Decedent;
  • A parent of the Decedent and there are no living children nor a living spouse;
  • A brother or sister of the Decedent and there is no closer relative.

There are instances when the value of the assets might not exceed $75,000 but the Affidavit of Collection of Personal Property form cannot be used. For example, the affidavit cannot be used to transfer real property. Real property has to be transferred through the probate court.

For questions on the small estate affidavit, contact Kennedy Law Offices, P.A. at phone number: 651-262-2080 or email: clerk@mpkennedylaw.com

A carefully crafted estate plan allows you to decide you will receive your assets at your passing. It is important to consult with an estate planning attorney to ensure the documents are properly executed. A common misconception is that if someone has a will, their family won’t need to go through the probate court. Consult with Kennedy Law to create an estate plan specific to your assets, property, and family. 

1. Decide Who Receives Your Assets
Assets that you own in your individual name at the time of your death are subject to probate. Probate can be a time-consuming, complex, and expensive process. Having an estate plan can minimize the expenses and uncertainties of probate by having clear instructions on how your assets should be distributed. Having an estate plan also helps to minimize potential disputes between family members.

2. Name Guardians to Care for Minor Children
If you die without a surviving spouse to care for your minor children (i.e., under age 18) then a guardian and/or conservator will need to be appointed by the probate court to care for your minor children. You can indicate in your estate plan whom you would trust to be the guardian and/or conservator of your minor children.

3. Name the Personal Representative of your Estate
In most instances, if you die with real property and/or assets worth greater than $75,000.00 in your individual name, these assets must be administered under the direction of the probate court before they can go to your beneficiaries. By executing a will, you can specify who you trust to serve as the personal representative of your estate. The personal representative is responsible for paying any debts and expenses, deciding how specific items with be allocated among your beneficiaries, liquidating your assets, and more.

4. Protect your Family’s Inheritance from Creditors and Estate Taxes
An experienced estate planning attorney can help minimize the risks of your assets being subject to creditors and/or more estate taxes than what is legally necessary. If you have potential creditor problems or work in an industry that is subject to litigation, there are several ways to isolate your assets from future creditors. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you navigate these complex questions and help protect your family from uncertainties and unnecessary disputes.

To learn more about estate planning, please call 651-262-2080. 

Estate plans are not just for the wealthy. Having an estate plan is important to ensure that your assets are distributed to your loved ones without confusion or dispute. Estate planning allows you to decide who will receive your assets. There are different ways to create estate plans: through a validly executed will, a revocable trust, owning your assets jointly, or filing a transfer on death (TOD) deed or beneficiary designation form. Each of these options have advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to go through this process with an experienced estate planning attorney.  

To learn more, please feel free to view our estate planning intake form or call us at 651-262-2080 to have any of your questions answered and/or schedule a time to speak with one of our attorneys.