Audio CD + Course Book

The Probate Process from Start to Finish

Audio CD + Course Book

Copyright Date:

May, 2018

Product ID#:


Audio + Course Book

Credit Information

Continuing Legal Education

  • MN CLE - 6.50
From Event: The Probate Process from Start to Finish, held May 2018.

Program Description

This "a through z" guide to probate is designed to take you from the first days of the estate timeline through all the steps of marshaling and valuing estate assets, locating and paying the creditors, paying the beneficiaries, and laying the estate to rest. You will receive the latest updates on the probate court procedure and tax laws, practical guidance from experienced probate attorneys on using spousal elective share and resolving estate disputes, and sample forms and checklists to speed up the administration process. Build a solid foundation for your probate practice - order today!

Course Content

  1. Initial Filing in Probate Court and Estate Timeline
  2. Inventory and Appraisement
  3. Tax Reporting and Post-Mortem Tax Matters
  4. Probate Property vs. Non-Probate Assets
  5. Handling Claims Against the Estate
  6. Ethics
  7. Final Accounting and Closing the Estate
  8. Probate Disputes and Litigation

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education – CLE: 6.50 MN - Credit Approval Expiration 01/19/2020 *

* denotes specialty credits

Agenda / Content Covered

    8:30 - 9:45, Marty G. Helle
    1. Small Estate Administration
    2. Probate Court Procedure
    3. Estate Timetable/Checklist
    4. Formal vs. Informal Probate Administration
    5. Opening the Estate
      1. Petition for Probate and Administration and Notice of Hearing
      2. Required Notices (to Creditors, Heirs, DHS, IRS)
      3. Sample Forms
    6. What the Personal Representative Needs to Know and Do
    7. When is Ancillary Administration Necessary?
    9:45 - 10:15, Melissa A. Saunders
    1. Locating Insurance Policies, Deeds and Other Ownership Documents
    2. Obtaining a Tax ID and Marshaling Property
    3. Preparing the Inventory and Appraisal Forms
    4. Dealing with the Probate Referee
    5. Managing Decedent's Assets During Probate
    6. Handling Common Valuation Issues
    7. When to Hire a Valuation Specialist or Appraiser
    10:30 - 11:30, James T. McNary
    1. Final Tax Returns Timeline, Forms and Filing Procedure
    2. Requesting Deadline Extensions
    3. Income Tax Considerations in Probate
      1. Selecting a Tax Year: Calendar or Fiscal?
      2. Decedent's Final Income Tax Return
      3. Estate Income Tax Return
      4. Tax on Income Earned by Estate after Decedent's Death
      5. Beneficiary Income Tax Considerations
    4. Proper Use of Disclaimers and Valuation Discounts
    5. Claiming Estate Tax Portability
    6. Estate and Gift Tax Considerations - When Do You Need to File Form 706?
    7. Coordinating with Decedent's Accounting or Investment Advisors
    8. GST Tax Implications
    9. Handling Common Property Tax Issues
    11:30 - 12:00, Marty G. Helle
    1:00 - 1:45, Marty G. Helle
    1. Required Creditor Notice
    2. Determining Priority of Claims
    3. Allowing and Rejecting Claims, and Paying Them
    4. Handling Lawsuits Against the Estate and the Decedent
    5. Insolvency Issues
    1:45 - 2:45, James T. McNary
    1. Who is Your Client? Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
    2. Protecting Client Confidentiality
    3. Attorney Fees
    4. Malpractice Liability Risks
      1. Negligence
      2. Breach of Fiduciary Duty
      3. Fraud
    3:00 - 3:30, Melissa A. Saunders
    1. Preliminary and Final Distributions
    2. Estate Accounting Procedure
    3. Closing Certificate for Fiduciaries
    4. Closing Decedent's Remaining Accounts
    5. Personal Representative and Attorney Compensation
    6. Extraordinary Services Compensation
    7. When Reopening the Estate is Warranted
    3:30 - 4:40, B. Steven Messick
    1. Beneficiary Liability
    2. Fiduciary Liability
    3. Interpreting Testamentary Intent - Burdens of Proof, Presumptions, Evidence Rules
    4. Revoked, Multiple, Contested Wills
    5. Common Will Construction Problems
    6. Objections to Accounts and Petitions

MARTY G. HELLE is a partner with the law firm of Hoversten, Johnson, Beckmann & Hovey, LLP, in Austin, Minnesota. Mr. Helle primarily practices in real estate, probate, and litigation. He also practices in the area of medical assistance and nursing home planning. Mr. Helle received two bachelor’s degrees from Iowa State University; and graduated, with honors, from Drake University Law School. He is licensed to practice in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

JAMES T. McNARY has practiced law for more than 29 years, concentrating on estate planning, probate, and trust administration. He is a respected voice in the legal profession, as evidenced by his frequent lectures on various topics related to estate planning. Mr. McNary has presented numerous times at the Minnesota CLE Probate and Trust Law Institute and his lectures have enlightened audiences on such topics as drafting under the new Minnesota Trust Code, the administration of family trusts, the selection of fiduciaries, disclaimers, and business succession planning for farm families. He also serves as the moderator of the Institute's Small Estates Panel and been a member of the Institute Planning Committee since 2007. Mr. McNary is a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law and the University of Wisconsin - River Falls.

B. STEVEN MESSICK is an attorney with J. Scott Braden Attorneys at Law, in Faribault, Minnesota, who takes great pride in finding practical solutions for difficult problems faced by his clients. He advocates for clients in family, probate, and civil litigation cases, including related matters such as trust and estate litigation, guardianship and conservatorship implementation, and actions involving real property. Mr. Messick's professional affiliations/memberships include being a member and outgoing president of the Rice County Bar Association, a Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates, member of the MSBA Judiciary Committee, member of the MSBA Out-State-Practice Section and Family Law Section, member of the Richard T. Oakes American Inn of Court; and a member of the Board of Governors for Five Oaks Community Church. He also serves as a volunteer attorney for Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services. Mr. Messick earned his B.A. degree from Hamline University, Saint Paul, Minnesota; his J.D. degree, magna cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law, Saint Paul, Minnesota; and a certificate in dispute resolution from Hamline University School of Law - Dispute Resolution Institute. He is admitted to the Supreme Court of Minnesota and the Supreme Court of North Dakota.

MELISSA A. SAUNDERS is an attorney with Dunlap & Seeger, where she practices in the areas of estate planning, probate, wills, revocable trusts, gifting, taxation, medical assistance planning, estate and trust administration, guardianships, conservatorships and special needs trusts. Ms. Saunders is a member of the Olmsted County Bar Association, Rochester Estate Planning Council, Minnesota State Bar Association and the Olmsted County Bar Association. She is admitted to practice in Minnesota. Ms. Saunders earned her B.A. degree from Carleton College and her J.D. degree from William Mitchell College of Law.

Please refer to Continuing Education Credit FAQ for general information about seeking credit for your participation in one of our continuing education programs.

Additionally, our team of credit specialists are here to answer your specific credit-related questions weekdays 7am - 5pm Central:

Phone: 866-240-1890


Accreditation Details:

Continuing Legal Education

MN CLE: 6.50 Credit Approval Exp
Includes - Ethics: 1.00
Approved for up to 6.5 hours of on-demand CLE credit, including 1.0 hour of ethics by the Minnesota Board of Continuing Legal Education. No more than 15.0 hours of on-demand CLE credit may be earned during a reporting period.

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