How to Appoint a Special Administrator under Minnesota Probate Law

Minnesota probate special administratorMinnesota Probate Special Administration

There are times where it may be necessary to appoint a Minnesota probate special administrator instead a more traditional “personal representative” of a Minnesota probate.

The circumstances with this becomes an issue are limited. This article will discuss the instances in which a special administrator can be appointed over a deceased person’s estate and, also, what the person’s duties are.

Minnesota statute section 524.3-614, states that a special administrator can be appointed as follows:


A special administrator may be appointed:

(1) informally by the registrar on the application of any interested person when necessary to protect the estate of a decedent prior to the appointment of a general personal representative, when necessary to protect the estate of a decedent due to circumstances described in section 524.2-803, or if a prior appointment has been terminated as provided in section 524.3-609;

(2) in a formal proceeding by order of the court on the petition of any interested person and finding, after notice and hearing, that appointment is necessary to preserve the estate or to secure its proper administration including its administration in circumstances where a general personal representative cannot or should not act. If it appears to the court that an emergency exists or that section 524.2-803 may apply, appointment may be ordered without notice.

The instances in which my office has asked for the appointment of a special administrator are in the “emergency” situations.  Typically, a more traditional personal representative would be appointed. However, things like problems with a Will, or lack thereof, can lead to the appointment of a special administrator.  In one particular circumstance, our office helped a client who needed to remove a loved-one from the city morgue and they were unable to do so without being appointed as a special administrator by a Minnesota court.  This was an extreme example, but it illustrates why this area of the law may arise.

The next logical question is who can be appointed as a special administrator?


(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), if a special administrator is to be appointed pending the probate of a will which is the subject of a pending application or petition for probate, the person named executor in the will shall be appointed if available, and qualified.

(b) In cases where the court determines a personal representative named in a will may not be entitled to benefits pursuant to section 524.2-803, the court may appoint a qualified neutral, professional fiduciary, or an interested person to serve as special administrator.

(c) In other cases, any proper person may be appointed special administrator.

As you can see, Minnesota probate law provides very specific terms in which a special administrator can be appointed.  The special administrator law does limit that person’s power over the estate.  Our law firm has had experience asking that a special administrator be appointed, and then modifying the estate so that a new personal representative be appointed.

Finally, the special administrator has specifically delineated duties that he or she will be obligated to perform on behalf o the deceased person’s estate.


A special administrator appointed by order of the court in any formal proceeding has the power of a general personal representative except as limited in the appointment and duties as prescribed in the order. The appointment may be for a specified time, to perform particular acts or on other terms as the court may direct.

As you can see, a special administration may be appointed in an informal or formal probate administration depending on the situation.  For further questions on this issue, a Minnesota probate attorney should be contacted.

Minnesota Probate Lawyers

Contact Flanders law firm LLC today to discuss your particular situation and possible appointment as a special administrator. Contact the firm at 612-424-0398.


Related posts:

Previous post:

Next post: