The goal of Minnesota law is to simplify the probate process for the families of the deceased. However, the more property a person has at the time of his or her death, the more complex the probate process may become. Large estates may raise special tax issues that don't apply to smaller estates with limited assets.
In Minnesota, what constitutes a large estate is often smaller than what families expect. Probate is generally necessary for any deceased person who was the sole owner of more than $50,000 in personal property or of real property of any value. Even if an estate is large enough to require probate, the process can still be fairly straightforward. Unfortunately, this is not always the case for estates containing more substantial assets.
These types of estates can become complicated to manage for any number of reasons:
- Larger estates may continue to generate significant income, requiring additional tax management and reporting.
- Higher asset individuals may also have had more and larger creditors who must be included in the probate process.
- Larger estates tend to contain types of assets that require a greater degree of care and supervision. These can include stocks, bonds and other investments, real estate, antiques and collectables and closely held business interests.
- Estates with a value in excess of $1 million may be subject to Minnesota estate tax. Estates valued in excess of $5.34 million may be subject to the federal estate tax.
- Larger estates may have more beneficiaries and may be more likely to provoke litigation as disputes develop among interested parties and personal representatives.
Overseeing a large and complex estate can be overwhelming without competent legal assistance. It is always advisable to seek legal guidance when managing the assets of a deceased loved one. An experienced Elk River probate attorney can help you perform your duties with confidence and efficiency.