We are working remotely and all of us continue to be available by telephone or email. In alignment with national, state and local initiatives as it relates to the coronavirus, we remain open for business and have changed the way we are working for the health and well-being of our employees, and you, our valued clients and colleagues. Read more

Mason & Helmers
We Welcome Your Call
  • Phone 651-323-2548
  • Toll Free 877-389-5533

We'll look at the 'small' cases too

Last week's post discussed what happens in cases where a person leaves only little property for his or her estate to distribute. When people own less than $50,000 in personal property in their individual names, a probate proceeding may be unnecessary, so long as the person also does not own real estate.

These estates may well be called "small," but a small estate is no less important to the heirs and beneficiaries as is an estate worth millions of dollars.

Moreover, on a practical level, many "small" Minnesota estates are only such because the vast majority of a person's net worth is tied up in a jointly held home or in public stocks, retirement plans and bonds, all of which typically do not pass through the probate process at all.

However, the fact that these items are typically not subject to the terms of a will, does not mean that they cannot be the cause of a court battle between family members. Oftentimes, the most hotly contested estate matters do not involve assets that are subject to the jurisdiction of a probate court.

Small estates matters a great deal to many Saint Paul residents, and our law offices are confident about litigating them if the need arises. But before doing so, it is important for people to remember that in a truly "small" estate, at a certain point the cost of continuing with a lawsuit will eat up anything a person may have gained by suing in the first place.

Still, our offices don't see the inherent cost of litigation as a reason in and of itself not to take a case but as a challenge to try to find a creative way to resolve a probate dispute quickly. There are many means available, including mediation, in which a family can resolve litigation without having to go through a protracted court case.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

For Assistance with Estate Disputes & Other Matters, Contact Us

To learn more about the firm and how we can assist you,
contact Mason & Helmers in St. Paul, Minnesota. Call 651-323-2548 or 877-389-5533 (toll free) to set up an appointment.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review
rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories — legal ability and general ethical standards.

Contact Our Attorneys

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Response
Mason & Helmers

Mason & Helmers
332 Minnesota Street
Suite W-3070
St. Paul, MN 55101

Toll Free: 877-389-5533
Phone: 651-323-2548
St. Paul Law Office Map