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Bismarck Attorneys Helping Answer Life’s Toughest Questions

Both estate planning and probate will likely be relevant at one point or another in our lives. While related, these are two different things. Probate refers to the legal process to distribute a decedent’s estate. Estate planning involves a variety of legal documents to better ensure a person’s final wishes are conveyed. There are many legal considerations involved in both, which is why our clients have turned to us for estate planning and probate guidance for years in North Dakota.

Estate Planning

Many people put off estate planning because they are single, they feel they are too young, or they do not believe that they have any assets to protect. Estate planning is not just for the elderly or the rich—almost everyone can benefit from estate planning. No one knows what the future holds.  However, through proper planning, your end-of-life wishes can be made known and your loved ones cared for after you are gone.

When it comes to estate planning, most people first think of wills and trusts. While these documents are important, estate planning can be much more than just who inherits your property and wealth at your death. There are countless reasons why an estate plan is important such as minimizing estate tax, avoiding probate, protecting children from mismanaging their inheritance, and asset protection, among other things. However, perhaps the most beneficial aspect of proper estate planning is the ability to clearly express your wishes and avoid chaos and discord among your loved ones after your death.

We have assisted many clients in creating various legal documents to plan for their futures. Each person’s goals and needs are different when it comes to planning for the future, and each need can require a different document.  We handle complex estate planning as well as basic estate planning in order to assist a wide variety of clients. The most basic estate planning documents that we assist our clients in preparing are as follows:

  1. Simple Wills (with or without a trust for minor children): A Will indicates to whom your property should go and can be used as a tax planning device or to appoint a guardian for minor children, among other things. Many people use Wills to make their final wishes known.
  2. Durable Power of Attorney: The Durable Power of Attorney authorizes another to handle your financial affairs should you be unable to do so.
  3. Health Care Power of Attorney: The Health Care Power of Attorney authorizes a person to make health care decisions for you. It also allows you the option to make specific statements concerning life-prolonging care, treatment, services, and procedures.
  4. Living Will: The Living Will is used to inform other people, including your health care professional, of your desires regarding end-of-life treatment and decision making. This is a useful tool that allows you to make difficult decisions that would otherwise fall to your loved ones during a very difficult time.

The above list includes only some examples of the resources available to you. There are numerous types of legal documents to protect your assets, finances, and your family’s future. Please contact Knoll Leibel LLP at 701-255-2010 to speak with a caring and knowledgeable attorney about your estate planning needs.

Probate

The loss of a loved one is very emotional for the decedent’s surviving family. When adding the complexity of dealing with the probate of your loved one’s estate, things can quickly become overwhelming and confusing. That is why you need a law firm that is attentive and caring by your side. The attorneys at Knoll Leibel LLP understand what you are going through when suffering from a loss and we can help guide you through the probate process.

The probate process generally involves locating and determining the value of the decedent’s assets, paying off debts and taxes, and distributing the remainder of the estate to the beneficiaries pursuant to a Last Will and Testament or the North Dakota intestate laws. Here at Knoll Leibel LLP, our philosophy is simple: assist our clients through a difficult time in life with compassion, care, and cost-effective legal representation.

Whether you are seeking to be appointed the Personal Representative of your loved one’s estate, need assistance in the administration of an estate, or just need guidance as an heir or beneficiary to an estate, the knowledgeable attorneys at Knoll Leibel LLP are here to assist you. The probate process does not need to be a mystery and with careful planning, consultation, and guidance the probate of your loved one’s estate can proceed smoothly and efficiently.

There For You When It Matters Most

The attorneys at Knoll Leibel LLP are also aware that at times there may be disputes in the probate process between heirs, creditors, or beneficiaries. Our experienced attorneys are here to assist our clients in challenging the validity of a will, disputes over the value of the estate, or allegations that a personal representative is not fulfilling their fiduciary duties.  When experience matters, call the attorneys at Knoll Leibel LLP at 701-255-2010 for a consultation.