Minnesota Probate Estate | Formal Administration

Minnesota Probate EstateThere are many different kinds of probates.  There may be small estate.  There may be large estates.  In any estate, a Minnesota probate attorney should be consulted.  The attorney should be able to clearly tell you whether you should file for Minnesota probate estate – either formal or informal.  For this post, I will be discussing a formal probate.

Minnesota Formal Probate Administration

A Minnesota formal estate begins with the filing of a “petition”.  The petition must be filed with the proper court of “venue” – usually the county court where the deceased lived.  As with any estate, the petition must include the important personal identifying information of:

  1.  The deceased
  2.  The heirs
  3.  The personal representative
  4.  Any other interested parties

Failure to include the proper information in the probate petition may result in your petition being dismissed or questioned by the court.

Proceeding Formally | Supervised vs. Unsupervised

If the personal representative asks for a formal estate, the personal representative must also decide whether to have a “supervised” or a “unsupervised” estate.  An unsupervised estate is one in which the personal representative acts without supervision of the court, and is usually without the court supervising the reasonableness or legality of the personal representative’s actions.  This can be a good or a bad thing.

One instance when a formal estate may be advisable is when there may be heirs who are disputing things or who may question the personal representative’s decisions.  In this case, it may be best to request a formal probate which is supervised by the court.

In a supervised probate, the acts of the personal representative will be supervised by the court.  The personal representative will have to file a final account and this document will be approved by the court.  No distributions or “payments” to heirs are allowed in a formal supervised estate without court approval and court order.   Obviously, this takes more time and can cost more money in terms of court costs and fees. However, again, at times they are highly advisable for estate with large assets and/or heir disputes.

Notice of a Formal Probate

In any case, Minnesota law provides that notice of a formal probate needs to be sent, in writing, to heirs of the estate.  This literally means that the personal representative must send written notice of a court hearing to the heirs. This is true in formal and informal estate.  In essence, the law is concerned about “due process” and the opportunity to be heard.  Without this formality, it is much more likely that the personal representative may not do things that are lawful.

The Minnesota statutes (laws) also provide that notice of the formal estate must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county of “venue”  – or where the deceased lived.  The newspaper notice must be published for two successive weeks.  After this is done, the newspaper will send an “Affidavit of Publication” to the court or the personal representative of the estate to let them know that the notice was properly published.

Once the notice is published and mailed, a court hearing can be held and the personal representative can move forward with the formal estate administration.

Questions about Formal Probates?

Contact the the probate lawyers at Flanders Law Firm LLC for your free consultation.  The firm has experienced attorneys who can advise on all probate issues – including formal and informal probates and when to choose the correct one.  Contact the firm today at 612-424-0398.

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