After someone dies, the process of probate is often used in order to settle that person’s estate. Although probate can vary greatly from case to case, there are two main types: formal and informal. Informal probate is often more appealing because it does not involve the courts. If you live in Minnesota and face an informal probate issue, our lawyers are here to help.
Informal Probate Generally
Informal probate is an attempt to settle an estate with very little court involvement. During informal probate, the courts do not supervise the proceedings required for dividing property and assets. Typically, informal probate is the best option when the estate is relatively simple. Since there is no court involvement, it is generally a much quicker process than formal probate. If time is important, such as when you are dealing with market fluctuations or other timely issues, then informal probate can be especially helpful.
Applying For Informal Probate In Minnesota
Not every estate can be settled through informal probate. Applications for informal probate must go through the Probate Registrar. If a Will is involved, then the request for informal probate cannot be made until after any stated survivorship clause expires. In the state of Minnesota, the Probate Registrar has the authority to reject the request for virtually any reason. There are many situations in which informal probate is not an option for settling an estate.
Common reasons that informal probate will be rejected include:
- One or more heirs are unknown;
- An original Last Will & Testament cannot be located;
- The heirs or devisees disagree on a settlement issue;
- A judge’s signature is needed on a order or decree;
- Any of the heirs or devisees are minors;
- A Medical Assistance Claim is present; or
- The estate is insolvent
If any of the above is true, then a request for informal probate must automatically be rejected. If you are considering applying for informal probate, then it’s always a good idea to have a knowledgeable and experienced attorney on your side. We can help you understand whether or not you qualify, and the presence of a lawyer can also help with the approval of your request.
Administering the Estate
If informal probate is accepted, then the Probate Registrar will appoint the Personal Representative. Once this step is complete, the Representative will administer the estate, acting in accordance to any directions or wishes left by the decedent. During the informal process, court involvement and supervision is not necessary. However, informal probate can be reversed if a disagreement arises.
Once the Personal Representative has completed the division of the estate, then he or she must file to close the estate. The closing documents are filed with the Probate Court. These are the only papers that need to be filed.
Although informal probate may sound simple, it can be a rather complex process that is best handled when an attorney is involved. Our attorneys have handled many probate cases over the years, and we are happy to help you as well. Contact the Brown Law Offices, P.A. at 763-323-6555 for a free consultation.