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How do beneficiaries get money from an estate of bank accounts after all bills have been paid?

Minneapolis, MN |

My sister passed away recently, with no husband or children, just siblings as beneficiaires. I was her POA, but did not know about a small life insurance policy, which did not have beneficiaries assigned, so now I received a $5,000. check made out to the estate. Do I still need to put it in an estate of bank account, or can I distribute it to her siblings? I have made sure all her bills have been paid,. She did not own any real estate or even a car. Just bank accounts, and 401k etc. which already have been distributed to her siblings.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. I am sorry to hear about your sister's passing. In Minnesota, small estates for which the probate assets are less than $50,000.00 and do not include real estate are not required to be probated to pass the estate's assets to the deceased person's heirs and beneficiaries.

    In such cases, thirty (30) days after your sister's death you may deposit the check made out to the estate in your own bank account by presenting an Affidavit of Collection of Personal Property together with a certified copy of a death certificate and the check to your bank.

    For your reference I have attached the Minnesota statute that pertains to Collection of Personal Property by Affidavit.

    Please be advised that this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship nor does it constitute legal advice. All situations are different. Accordingly, you should consult an attorney for assistance.


  2. I agree with the assessment with the disclaimer that the funds should then be distributed between the siblings. Also, make sure that the other property that you mentioned do not exceed the amount allowed by statute ($50,000.00)

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