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Probate and Estate Administration in Minnesota ()


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Probate Lawyers in Minnesota

Minnesota Probate, Generally

The probate process in Minnesota is the legal court process for paying a person's debts and expenses and distributing a person's property after that person’s death. In a Minnesota probate matter the person who has died is called the “decedent” and his or her property is called the “estate”.

Intestate vs. Testate    
Usually, a decedent's debts are paid from the estate and any property remaining is divided among heirs or beneficiaries, according to a Will (died testate), the (Minnesota) Uniform Probate Code, or the laws of intestate succession.  If the decedent did not leave a Will (died intestate), the heirs to the estate will be determined according to the Uniform Probate Code and/or the laws of intestate succession.

The Personal Representative
The "personal representative" (sometimes referred to as the now antiquated terms: executor [masculine] or executrix [feminine]) of the estate is a fiduciary of the decedent's estate who will administer the estate for the benefit of all beneficiaries, heirs, devisees (devise, or disposition, of real property), and/or legatees (bequest of personal property).  The personal representative is typically nominated by the valid Will of the decedent and appointed by the District Court in the Minnesota county where the decedent was domiciled (resided) at death. 

Should no valid Will exist or if a valid Will does not nominate a personal representative, Minnesota Statutes Section 524.3-203 defines who has priority among those seeking appointment as personal representative of the decedent's estate.  Generally, first in line as personal representative is the decedent's surviving spouse, if the spouse is also a devisee.  If there is no surviving spouse who is also a devisee, then priority is as follows (higher to lower):  Other devisees, a surviving spouse (who is not a devisee), heirs, any creditor, and any non-discharged conservator of the decedent.  No person is qualified to serve as personal representative if they are under the age of 18 or are found "unsuitable" by a court.

Once appointed by the court, a personal representative nominated in a Will receives "Letters Testamentary" and a personal representative not nominated in a Will receives "Letters of General Administration".  These "Letters" authorize a person to act on behalf of the decedent's estate as the estate's personal representative.

Duties of the Personal Representative
Duties of the personal representative may include: (1) collecting income from the estate property, (2) paying any and all debts, claims, and expenses of administering the estate, (3) filing all necessary estate and income tax returns and reports, and (4) preserving, distributing and settling the estate in accordance with decedent's Will, the Uniform Probate Code, or the laws of intestate succession.  The personal representative is usually represented by a Minnesota probate lawyer, who can assist with these duties and responsibilities.

Minnesota's Probate Laws
The (Minnesota) Uniform Probate Code can be found generally in sections 524.1-101 to 524.8-103 of the Minnesota Statutes.  These sections also contain information on spousal and elective shares.  Information and laws on guardianships and conservatorships can generally be found in chapter 524 of the Minnesota Statutes.

Is It Always Necessary to Probate a Minnesota Estate?
Minnesota probate law applies to people who lived in Minnesota when they died and to residents of other states who owned real estate in Minnesota (ancillary administration).  Whether a matter is "probated" depends on a number of factors, including the type of property and the nature of the ownership of that property.  For example, unless real estate (a home, a cabin, a farm, etc.) was transferred into a trust or was owned in joint tenancy with a right of survivorship, it usually is subject to the probate process.  If you are considering a Will, you should consult with an attorney about the ownership of any real estate and whether there are advantages to certain types of ownership.   For personal property, probate is required if the value of the estate exceeds $75,000.  If the decedent’s estate is worth $75,000 or less, the decedent's legal heirs or certain interested parties, as defined by Minnesota Statutes, may be able to collect the property by utilizing an Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property, which does not require probate court involvement.  This allows for a small estate to keep its costs of administering the estate low.

How Long Does It Take to Probate an Estate?
The infamous response:  It all depends.  On average, probate takes 10 - 16 months to complete.  Still, the length of time between the date of death of the decedent and closing the estate will depend upon several factors, for example, the type of probate proceeding that is chosen (informal vs. formal) and how it will be administered (supervised vs. unsupervised).  The number, location, and accessibility of probate assets will affect the length of probate.  Similarly, the number, location and availability of the heirs may affect timing.  Real estate may also creates delays, especially if the property needs to be sold.  Although rare, disputes among heirs may arise concerning the validity of the will or distribution/entitlement of assets.  These disputes, if not settled, typically require court intervention, causing many months of additional delay.

The advice of an experienced probate attorney can help you decide the best manner with which to proceed in the event a loved one passes and leaves an estate for which you are responsible.   Legal representation during the probate process may also help eliminate unnecessary delays due to noncompliance with Minnesota Statutes, the Uniform Probate Code and/or local rules of the Probate Court for specific counties.




Trusted, experienced Minnesota probate attorneys.

Ensure that the probate process is completed efficiently and smoothly.  Since 1975, our firm has been committed to providing the highest level of legal representation to our clients.  At Taurinskas Law Firm, we treat our client's with courtesy and integrity.  We provide efficient and honest legal representation that achieves desirable results.

We offer the experience and resources of a large firm while at the same time providing our clients with the convenience, accessibility and reasonable fees typical of a small firm.  Our objective is to work with you to provide the assistance you need to efficiently and effectively manage your loved one's estate and to ensure compliance with applicable laws.

We estimate that more than 90 percent of our clientele is the result of repeat clients or referrals from clients.  We truly appreciate these referrals and will make every effort to ensure these positive referrals continue with you

At Taurinskas Law Firm, you'll find experienced attorneys to assist you with any probate or trust administration issues or questions you may have in Minnesota.  Taurinskas Law Firm is located in northern Dakota County in South St. Paul, MN.  Our law office offers a free initial consultation for probate or estate administration matters.  A few matters you may face once it has been determined you are responsible to administer a loved one's estate may include:
  • Probate & Trust Administration
  • Formal Probate (Supervised or Unsupervised)
  • Informal Probate (Supervised or Unsupervised)
  • Summary Proceedings
  • Probate Property vs. Nonprobate Property
  • Intestate (no will) vs. Testate (valid will)
  • Letters of General Administration vs. Letters Testamentary
  • Personal Representative (Nominated vs. Appointed)
  • Creditor's Claims and other Debts of Decedent
  • Liens, including Medical Assistance Claims
  • Payment of Utilities and Collection of Rent
  • Funeral Expenses and Debts of Last Illness
  • Real Estate Sales and Conveyances
  • Asset Identification and Distribution to Heirs and Devisees
  • Inventory, Notices, Publication, Consents, & Final Account
  • Affidavit of Personal Property (Small Estate Affidavit for Assets ≤ $75,000)
  • Will Contests (Undue Influence, etc.)
  • Lost Original Wills, Will Copies, & Codicils
  • Separate Writing Identifying Bequest of Tangible Property
  • Ancillary Proceedings

MN PROBATE ATTORNEYS
P. James Taurinskas
Brian J. Taurinskas


MINNESOTA PROBATE AND ESTATE ADMINISTRATION ATTORNEYS

At our law office, our lawyers provide probate and trust administration guidance and representation in all areas of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-Saint Paul), western Wisconsin and their surrounding communities.

Please Note:  This site contains general information and not legal advice. It is based on Minnesota law in effect at the time of writing.  An experienced probate and estate planning lawyer can advise you about how the law applies to your specific situation.



ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ON MINNESOTA PROBATE
The following information is solely for reference and educational purposes.  Taurinskas Law Firm, P.A. is not affiliated with, funded by, or endorsed by the Office of the MN Attorney General or any other State Department of Minnesota.

Additional information on Minnesota Probate may be found at:

Office of MN Attorney General
1400 Bremer Tower
445 Minnesota Street
St. Paul, MN 55101-2131
t:  (651) 296-3353  or 1-800-657-3787

    Here you will find additional information on the following Minnesota Probate topics:
  • What is probate?
  • When is probate necessary?
  • What items are not subject to probate?
  • How do I probate an estate?
  • How will the estate be distributed to heirs?
  • What taxes must be paid?
 (www.ag.state.mn.us)
320 Bremer Bank Building
633 South Concord Street
So. St. Paul, Minnesota 55075

Established 1975
Phone:  (651) 451 - 9743
Toll-free: (888) 451 - 9743
Fax:  (651) 451 - 3967



Minnesota Probate & Trust Administration
MN PROBATE ATTORNEYS CATEGORIZED AND TAGGED IN: Probate Administration | Estate Administration | Trust Administration | Personal Representative (Executor/Executrix) | Estate Tax | Gifts | Decedent | Affidavit of Personal Property (small estate - less than $75,000) | Probate Court | Will Contests | Undue Influence | Holographic Wills | Testamentary Trust | Heir | Beneficiary | Devisee | Fiduciary | Next of Kin | Bequeath | Bequest | Devise | Legatee| Payable-On-Death (P.O.D.) Account | Transfer-On-Death (T.O.D.) Account | Joint Tenancy | Tenancy-In-Common | Rights of Survivorship | Life Estate | Remainder Interest in Life Estate (Remainderman) | Life Insurance Proceeds | Convenience Accounts | Real Estate Transfers | Medical Assistance Lien | Debts of Decedent | Creditors' Claims | Disclaimers | Insolvent Estate | Uniform Probate Code | Probate Procedure Statutes | Affidavit of Survivorship | Personal Representative Bond | Elder Law | Irrevocable Trust | Revocable Trust | Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust | Uniform Transfers to Minors Act | Pension of Decedent | Investment Proceeds | Stock Dividends of Decedent | Probating An Estate | Probate Assets | Non-Probate Assets | Joint Assets | Cabin | Farm (Agricultural or Other) | Homestead | Million+ Dollar Estate | Elective Share of Spouse | Guardianship | Conservatorship | Succession Plan | Business of Decedent | Formal Probate | Informal Probate | Supervised Proceeding | Unsupervised Proceeding | Date of Death Value | Step Up Basis | Carryover Basis | Federal Estate Tax Exemption | Minnesota Estate Tax Exemption | Intestate Succession | Testate | Codicil (Amendment) | Original Will | Letters Testamentary | Letters of General Administration | Fiduciary Income Tax Return | Ancillary (Foreign) Administration | Out-of-State Real Estate | Estate Planning | Wills & Trusts | How long does Probate take? | What is a Personal Representative?




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At Taurinskas Law Firm, P.A., in South Saint Paul, Minnesota, we proudly represent individuals and businesses throughout the Twin Cities Metro area, including: Afton 55001 | Albertville 55301 | Apple Valley 55124 | Baldwin 54002 | Balsam Lake 54810 | Basswood Grove | Bay City 54723 | Bayport 55003 | Becker 55308 | Beldenville 54003 | Belle Plaine 56011 | Big Lake 55306 | Birchwood Village 55110 | Blaine 55434 | Bloomington 55420, 55425, 55431, 55437, 55438 | Boyceville 54725 | Braham 55006 | Brooklyn Center 55429, 55430, 55443, 55444 | Brooklyn Park 55445 | Buffalo 55313 | Burnsville 55306, 55337 | Cambridge 55008 | Cannon Falls 55009 | Carver 55315 | Castle Rock 55010 | Cedar East Bethel 55011 | Center City 55012 | Centerville 55038 | Centuria 54824 | Champlin 55316 | Chanhassen 55317 | Chaska 55318 | Chisago City 55013 | Circle Pines 55014 | Clayton 54004 | Clear Lake 54005 | Coates 55068 | Cologne 55322 | Columbia Heights 55421 | Coon Rapids 55433, 55448 | Cottage Grove 55016 | Crystal 55428 | Cushing 54006 | Dalbo 55017 | Dayton 55327 | Deer Park 54007 | Delano 55328 | Dellwood 55110 | Deronda 54001 | Downing 54734 | Dresser 54009 | Dundas 55019 | Eagan 55120, 55121, 55122, 55123 | East Bethel 55005, 55092 | Eden Prairie 55343, 55344, 55346, 55347 | Edina 55410, 55424, 55435, 55436, 55439 | Elk River 55330 | Elko 55020 | Ellsworth 54011 | Elmwood 54740 | Emerald 54012 | Excelsior 55331 | Farmington 55024 | Forest Lake 55025 | Fridley 55432 | Frontenac 55026 | Glenwood City 54013 | Golden Valley 55427 | Goodhue 55027 | Grant 55082 | Hager City 54014 | Ham Lake 55304 | Hamburg 55339 | Hamel 55340 | Hammond 54015 | Hampton 55031 | Hanover 55341 | Harris 55032 | Hopkins 55305 | Hudson 54016 | Hugo 55038 | Inver Grove Heights - Inver Grove Hts 55076, 55077 | Isanti 55040 | Jordan 55352 | Knapp 54749 | Lake Elmo 55042 | Lake St. Croix Beach 55043 | Lakeland 55043 | Lakeville 55044 | Landfall 55128 | Lauderdale 55108 | Lindstrom 55045 | Little Canada 55117 | Long Lake 55356 | Loretto 55357 | Luck 54853 | Mahtomedi 55115 | Maiden Rock 54750 | Maple Grove 55369 | Maple Lake 55358 | Maple Plain 55359 | Maplewood 55119 | Marine on Saint Croix - Marine on St. Croix 55047 | Mayer 55360 | Mendota 55150  | Mendota Heights - Mendota Hts 55118, 55120  | Miesville 55009 | Milltown 54858 | Minneapolis  Mpls 55401, 55402, 55403, 55404, 55405, 55406, 55407, 55408, 55409, 55411, 55412, 55413, 55414,55415, 55417, 55418, 55419, 55449, 55450, 55454, 55454, 55455 | Minnetonka 55345 | Montgomery 56069 | Monticello 55362 | Montrose 55363 | Mound 55364 | Nerstrand 55053 | New Brighton 55112 | New Germany 55367 | New Prague 56071 | New Richmond 54017 | New Trier 55031 | Newport 55055 | North Branch 55056 | North Saint Paul - North St. Paul - No. Saint Paul - No. St. Paul 55109 | Northfield 55057 | Norwood 55368 | Oak Park Heights - Oak Park Hts 55082 | Oakdale 55128 | Osceola 54020 | Osseo 55311 | Pine Springs 55115 | Plum City 54761 | Plymouth 55441, 55442, 55446, 55447 | Prescott 54021 | Princeton 55371 | Prior Lake 55372 | Ramsey 55303 | Randolph 55065 | Red Wing 55066 | Richfield 55423 | River Falls 54022 | Robbinsdale 55422 | Roberts 54023 | Rockford 55373 | Rogers 55374 | Rosemount 55068 | Roseville 55113 | Rush City 55069 | Saint Bonifacius - St. Bonifacius 55375 | Saint Croix Falls - St. Croix Falls 54024 | Saint Francis - St. Francis 55070 | Saint Joseph - St. Joseph 54082 | Saint Louis Park - St. Louis Park 55416, 55426 | Saint Marys Point - St. Marys Point 55043 | Saint Michael - St. Michael 55376 | Saint Paul - St. Paul 55101, 55102, 55103, 55104, 55105, 55106, 55114, 55116, 55129 | Saint Paul Park - St. Paul Park 55071 | Savage 55378 | Scandia 55073 | Shafer 55074 | Shakopee 55379 | Shoreview 55126 | Somerset 54025 | South Saint Paul - South St. Paul - So. Saint Paul - So. St. Paul 55075 | Spring Park 55384 | Spring Valley 54767 | Stacy 55079 | Stanchfield 55080 | Stanton 55018 | Star Prairie 54026 | Stillwater 55082, 55083 | Sunfish Lake 55077, 55118 | Taylors Falls 55084 | Vadnais Heights Vadnais Hts 55127 | Vermillion 55085 | Veseli 55046 | Victoria 55386 | Waconia 55387 | Watertown 55388 | Waverly 55390 | Wayzata 55391 | Webster 55088 | Welch 55033, 55089 | West Saint Paul - West St. Paul 55107, 55118 | White Bear Lake - White Bear Township 55110, 55115 | Willernie 55090 | Wilson 54027 | Twin Cities | Twin Cities MN Attorney | Twin Cities Minnesota Lawyer | Woodbury 55125, 55129 - Woodbury 55125, 55129 | Woodville 54028 | Young America 55397 | Zimmerman 55398

The following is a nonexclusive list of counties within and around the Twin Cities that Taurinskas Law Firm proudly serves: Aitkin County | Anoka County | Carver County |Chisago County | Crow Wing County |
Dakota County | Dakota County MN Attorney | Dakota County Minnesota Lawyer | Goodhue County | Hennepin County | Mahnomen County | Norman County | Pine County | Ramsey County | Washington County Probate & estate attorney

Minnesota Probate Attorneys | Minnesota Probate Lawyers

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