Starting an Informal Probate in Minnesota

starting an informal probate in minnesotaDo you have questions about starting an informal probate in Minnesota?  Read on.

An informal probate proceeding starts when an “application” is filed with the appropriate probate registrar in the county of venue.  What does that mean?

In essence, the proper venue is a the place where the deceased person (decedent) lived permanently at the time of his or her death.  There is a question of interpretation of the term “permanent”.  If you have questions, a MN probate lawyer should be consulted.

Starting an Informal Probate in Minnesota

The application must contain certain information.  The required information is set forth in Minnesota Statutes, section 524.3-+301, the MN probate court rules, and the local county level rules.

The probate application must be accurate in its details.  This is because the information in the application is the basis for all subsequent finding made by the registrar.  Once the application is signed by the personal representative of the estate, the attorney and the personal representative can set up a meeting with the county registrar.  Whether a meeting is required is up to the county and registrar.  Check your local rules to see what is required in your county.  Sometimes the hearing may only be a telephone call with the registrar.

Items which need to be in the Probate Application

Some of the major items that must be in the probate application include:

  • The decedent’s full legal name, any prior names
  • The decedent’s date of birth and date of death
  • The personal information of the personal representative
  • An explanation of why venue is proper in that particular county
  • An explanation of whether a Will existed or whether the decedent died intestate
  • A list of the “interested parties” or the heirs and creditors of the estate
  • Whether the will requires a bond
  • Whether the will requires a formal or informal personal representative
  • Whether there are any complications with the heirs
  • Whether there are any complications with the Will
  • An identification of the property and debts of the estate
  • Other information

There is no right or wrong answer to exactly what has to be in a probate application in Minnesota.  However, a probate attorney should be consulted to make sure all the requirements are met. Every case is different and different laws apply to different facts.

Appearances of Counsel

Appearance requirements also vary from county to county for informal probates.  In many counties, the application may be filed by mail and no appearance is necessary.  In other counties, a formal attorney appearance may be required.  Sometimes a mail filing is sufficient; however, many counties are now requiring e-filing.

If you have questions about your county, contacting the probate registrar’s office is a good idea.  The probate registrar’s office may be able to provide the local probate rules to you.

Meeting with the Probate Registrar

After the application is filed and accepted, a meeting with the probate registrar should be scheduled.  The attorney and personal representative should bring the application and the will, as well as any other supporting documentation.  The attorney should also be sure to bring the personal representative’s acceptance of appointment and oath.  This is an important document because it provides the basis for the personal representative’s fiduciary duty to the rest of the heirs.

Once the meeting with the probate registrar is over, the registrar will either approve the application or ask the estate to re-file as a formal administration.  Whether a formal administration is required is a subject of another post.  As always, for questions on starting an informal probate in Minnesota, an attorney should be consulted.

Free Initial Consultations

Questions about starting am informal probate in Minnesota?  Contact the Flanders Law Firm today.  The firm offers free consultations to all potential clients.  Call (612) 424-0398.

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