Fargo, ND asked in Probate for North Dakota

Q: Does having a will instead of going through probate make a difference in your estate taxes?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Fowlerville, MI

A: short answer: no

(And don't believe the 'one trick ponies who try to scare people about probate!)

Longer answer, a will does not avoid 'going through probate'. But sometimes you WANT to

have your estate go through probate!

If "avoiding probate" is your primary goal rather than taking care of your needs and

distributing things to your family the way YOU want then you are letting the tail wag the


You should see a QUALIFIED licensed local attorney to review your situation, and who

can then make recommendations about what sorts of documents you need to accomplish

your goals. If you walk in the office and they say 'everyone needs x' you should consider

turning around and walking out. While MOST people need some sort of power of attorney,

without listening to you first, a GOOD attorney won't make any hard recommendations.

Seek out local counsel ASAP. It may be a lot less expensive than you think!

--This answer is offered for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship. I am licensed to practice in Michigan only. Please seek competent local legal help if you feel you need legal advice!

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