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Wills and Probate
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North Dakota Wills and Probate

Are you trying desperately to cope with a family member’s recent passing in North Dakota? Are you staring down a mountain of complicated, fine-print probate documents that seem to be multiplying and written in a foreign language?

Don't despair. You do not have to stumble on your own through North Dakota’s often cumbersome probate process, armed only with a software package or a do-it-yourself guidebook. Instead, there is a preferable alternative: Local legal help is available in the form of resourceful, creative, responsive, problem-solving wills and probate lawyers.

What Is a North Dakota Estate Plan?

An estate plan in North Dakota is a customized organizational tool used to help clients reach financial goals, preserve assets, and pass along wealth to heirs and family members. The goal of most estate plans is to assist families in preserving and passing along their wealth to future generations, minimizing estate tax burdens, and avoiding the expense, hassle, and inconvenience of the probate process whenever possible.

It is important to note that estate plans are not limited necessarily to the creation of a simple will or the creation and funding of a simple trust. Instead, any number of tools and resources can be paired and tailored to meet the your specific estate-planning needs. In fact, estate plans often incorporate instruments like those below to aid North Dakota’s residents in meeting their estate planning and administration objectives:

  • Living, spendthrift, irrevocable, and Totten trusts
  • Powers of attorney
  • Living, simple, and complex wills
  • Family limited partnerships
  • Conservatorships
  • Charitable gifts

What You May Not Realize About Probate Law

There are some surprising aspects of North Dakota’s probate law that you may not realize initially as an executor, trustee, or beneficiary. If you are a beneficiary named in a will or trust, you are entitled to receive a full accounting from the executor or trustee charged with administering the estate. Financial records of an estate must be transparent and provided to any qualified party who requests them. In addition, as a beneficiary of a will or trust, you are entitled to receive a copy of the original testamentary document.

Trustees and executors should not tolerate being badgered by unreasonable demands of beneficiaries. Trustees should also not have to fear empty and idle threats of litigation from beneficiaries. As a trustee or executor, you are entitled to receive compensation for lawful services you perform on behalf of the estate or trust under North Dakota’s probate laws, and may permissibly use trust or estate funds to pay for a legal defense. Wills and probate lawyers can help with accountings; completion of forms; obtaining copies of wills or trusts; prosecuting abuse, fraud or embezzlement; and defending meritless lawsuits.

Contact a Local Will and Probate Lawyer Today

Will attorneys routinely advise clients on whether their wills or trusts are legal under North Dakota state laws. They also regularly offer guidance as to how to avoid hefty tax burdens, fees, costs, and time delays when clients undertake estate planning and administration early in the process. It does not pay to wait, so call now to speak with a wills and probate lawyer practicing in North Dakota at 877-913-7222.