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Probate: with a Will

Minnesota Probate Law

A person who dies with a valid will is considered by Minnesota law to have died testate. A person who dies without a valid will dies intestate.

If a will can be proven valid, then the court will execute the will. Though now called personal representative, the agent of the court responsible for executing the will used to be called, and still is called in some jurisdictions, an executor. And sometimes an administrator. But no longer here in Minnesota.

Please contact me, a Minnesota proabte attorney, with any questions or for representation.

A Valid Will

Both formal probate and informal probate can proceed with a will. In Minnesota, if a will is self-proving, then the probate may be started informally. If the will needs to be proven, then probate will most likely have to proceed formally, at least at first.

To be self-proving, a will basically needs a bit of "magic language," which is essentially a uniform paragraph that is given as an example in the Minnesota statutes. While the language might not need to be exact and precise, most lawyers simply copy the language verbatim because they know, since the legislature has given it to them, that the language will be acceptable and unquestioned. If you know something works, then why tempt the fates by messing around with it, right?

A self-proving will must also be witnessed by two people and notarized by a notary public or similar official.

Once the will is proven to be valid, either by itself or by adjudication, then the court will direct the personal representative to carry out the wishes of the testator (the decedent, or person who died). Of course, the court will not require, nor even permit, the personal representative to perform any illegal actions if any are stated in the will.

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Service Areas: I am willing to represent clients throughout Minnesota, including Lac qui Parle County, Mahnomen County, Nicollet County, Olmsted County, Pennington County, Ramsey County, Scott County, Todd County, Wabasha County, or Yellow Medicine County, just to name a few. Whether you are in Minneapolis or Saint Paul, or Walker, Montevideo, Center City, Moorhead, Bagley, Grand Marais, Windom, Brainerd, Hastings, or Mantorville, I will represent you.