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Informal Probate in Minnesota County Courts

Minnesota Probate Law

Informal probate is generally a less-intensive experience than formal probate, as you can imagine. Informal probate benefits from being conducted by a registrar (though, in some counties registrars are more intense than judges). The real benefit is that informal probate before a registrar will tend to be much less expensive than formal probate before a judge.

An analogy is the difference between a mediator and a judge. Mediation processes are usually much more, well, informal. Judges require strict adherence to a lot of rules and procedures. Registrars require adherence to rules and procedures as well, but the process will usually be much easier and straightforward. Like a mediator, a registrar will require less formal preparation on the part of the lawyers, which always saves money.

Process for Informal Probate

An interested person files an application, which has several variations. While the differences do not particularly matter for this writing, I will explain them with the required level of detail during the proceedings.

If the decedent has been dead for no less than 120 hours, then the registrar will issue a statement of informal probate. If a personal representative was sought, he or she will be appointed in the statement.

After an acceptance is filed and notice has been mailed and published as necessary, the registrar will issue letters that grant the personal representative the authority to administer the estate. The personal representative has near complete control over the estate, except that real estate may not be sold until thirty days after the letters are issued.

One of the few advantages of formal probate in Minnesota is that the personal representative can be appointed in a shorter amount of time and can begin to act more quickly than in informal probate. Formal doesn't always mean slow.

Another advantage of formal probate over informal probate in Minnesota is that in some counties, the title examiners will not consider title transfered in informal probate to be marketable, which means that the title carries a defect for certain real estate law purposes.

Skip the Inventory and Final Account

However, the real advantage (besides money savings, and in part one reason for money savings) is that the personal representative in informal probate does not have to file an inventory or a final accounting. These can be extremely cumbersome, time-consuming, and expensive documents.

Not having to have an attorney to draft and file them in itself can be a huge money saver.

If you are ready to proceed in probate and require a Minnesota probate attorney, then please give me a call or send me an e-mail.

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Service Areas: I am willing to represent clients throughout Minnesota, including Brown County, Clay County, Lyon County, Mille Lacs County, Rock County, Steele County, Wilkin County, Clearwater County, or Morrison County, just to name a few. Whether you are in Minneapolis or Saint Paul, or Slayton, St. Peter, Worthington, Ada, Rochester, Fergus Falls, Thief River Falls, Pine City, Pipestone, or Crookston, I will represent you.