Probate Law

The death of a loved one is trying and stressful. There is no way to ease the pain of the loss, but we can help you through the decisions and legal issues that accompany a death.

At Gerten and Van Valkenburg, PA, our attorneys have navigated the probate court for over 50 years. We can assist you during your time of need with knowledgeable, compassionate guidance. If you have been designated an executor or administrator of a will or trustee of a trust, or if your loved one died without a will, we stand ready to advise you to ensure that you avoid common mistakes made during this trying time. We are available to guide you through all metro county probate matters.

Guardianship and Conservatorship

A conservatorship or guardianship is simply a method that allows someone to make decisions on behalf of another person.

The responsibilities of a guardian vary, depending on the needs of the individual. The court will determine the proper scope of guardianship. The court can give a guardian broad decision-making power, including the ability to establish the residence and direct the care of the ward.

A conservatorship allows a person to make financial decisions on behalf of an incapacitated individual. A court will grant a conservatorship in a variety of cases, such as when a person is no longer able to run her own business, or if a person can no longer manage his own personal finances. As with a guardianship, the court will determine the scope of the conservatorship.

The attorneys at Gerten and Van Valkenburg, PA provided assistance to individuals in these difficult situations for over 50 years. Our attorneys have significant experience working with families and friends who are concerned about vulnerable seniors, other adults or child in need of assistance making important legal decisions. 

These decisions and determinations about granting a guardianship vary greatly. A guardian may be a grandparent who provides full-time care for a child and wants to enroll that child in school. Sometimes parents of a teenager with severe developmental disabilities may want to ensure that they are able to continue to make important decisions on their child’s behalf after the child reaches adulthood when they turns 18. Many times, adult children of parents with Alzheimer’s Disease want to be able to make any medical and daily living decisions for their parents as the disease progresses and renders the parent unable to make those decisions for themself.

Our firm handles all estate planning and probate court issues that come before Minnesota probate courts. At Gerten and Van Valkenburg, PA, we look forward to helping you care for the needs of your loved ones through guardianship or conservatorship, or through a power of attorney and other tools available to plan for incapacity. Contact us to schedule a consultation if you are in need of information about these types of issues.

Probating a Minnesota Estate

Minnesota probate law can be complex and difficult for people who have never encountered it. Whether you are an executor or an administrator or a trustee, a helpful, seasoned attorney can aid you in executing your duties.

At Gerten and Van Valkenburg, PA, our attorneys assist you in meeting all your probate court and tax filing deadlines. We prepare estate tax returns and fiduciary income tax returns. We look at creditor’s claims made against the estate and make sure they are valid, as well as aiding in the collection of debts owed to the estate.

Often, a personal representative is named who lives outside Minnesota. Our attorneys are experienced in assisting out-of-state personal representatives in probating wills in our court system.

Estate Administration

If an estate plan contains one or more trusts, a probate proceeding through the court system may not be necessary. However, the plan must be put into effect, and that requires knowledge and experience with estate administration. Our firm is ready to provide estate administration services in order to execute the estate plan and trust in the manner in which it was prepared and intended by you.

Will and Trust Litigation

It is unfortunate, but there are often disputes about the validity of a will or the execution of a trust. Heirs will contest the contents of a will and executors stand accused of wrongdoing when probating an estate. Our estate attorneys have years of experience representing parties in court on either side of the litigation matter. We work hard to ensure that your interests will be represented to the utmost extent during negotiations and at trial.

If you are in need of an experienced, knowledgeable estate attorney, contact our offices. Our attorneys want to help you during your time of need.