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Personal Representative of the Estate

Minnesota Probate Law

The personal representative is an individual appointed by the court to administer the estate of the decedent. The personal representative is responsible for paying the bills and debts of the estate, of collecting the debts owed to the estate, of cataloguing the estate's property and assets, of distributing the estate's property and assets either according to the decedent's will or according to Minnesota law, or both. And the personal representative is responsible for reporting the progress to the court and wrapping everything up at the end by filing a final account and other closing documents.

Some people designate whom they wish to act as personal representative right in their wills. While this makes things a little easier for administration, it is not required. If a personal representative is not nominated, or if there is no will, then the spouse, devisees, and heirs will have the right to claim the priority or to nominate another person to take the role.

In many cases, the heirs all agree about whom to choose as personal representative. They don't always, though, and this dispute can be a source of litigation. The court would prefer the heirs work it out themselves, but the court will not hesitate to decide who should be personal representative if the decision falls to the court. If you find yourself facing a dispute over the nomination of personal representatives, then you should call a lawyer to get involved immediately.

Also, the court can decline to appoint the nominated personal representative. This will be fairly rare. The court will generally only not approve the nomination if the court determines that, for some reason, the nominated person is unfit for the duties.

Agreement among the heirs, though not a guarantee, is the best likelihood of a nominated person getting appointment.

Please contact me, a Minnesota probate attorney, with any questions or to discuss representation.

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