A discussion of the duties of Personal Representative in both formal and informal probate proceedings for the state of Minnesota.
File a Petition or Application to Administer the Estate
The petition or application to administer the estate should be filed in the county where the decedent lived on the date of death. At least 120 hours (5 days) must have elapsed between the date of death and the filing of the petition or application. o Notice must be sent to all heirs, everyone named in the Will (if there is a Will) and publications must be made in a legal newspaper.
There are two types of assets, probate and non-probate assets. Probate assets are assets which are titled in the decedent's name only. Non-probate assets are assets which are owned or held by the decedent and name a joint owner or beneficiary. These assets pass directly to the joint owner or beneficiary without having to go through the probate process. Examples of common non-probate assets are: Payable on Death (POD) Accounts, Transfer on Death (TOD) Accounts, Life Insurance Proceeds and Retirement Accounts
Contact the Post Office and have the decedent's mail forwarded to the personal representative's address
Analyze Creditors' Claims Against the Estate
Creditors have a period of four month in which they can file a claim against the estate. The estate must remain open during this period and the claim may be presented to either the court of the personal representative. If you receive a claim, be sure to forward it to your attorney as soon as possible.
Estate Checking Accounts
After you have been appointed personal representative, you should open an estate checking account. To do this, you will need the TIN of the estate and your certified Letters. You may also need a copy of the death certificate. o All expenses you incur while administering the estate should be paid from the estate checking account. All income obtained by the estate should be deposited to this account, also. You must keep a detailed register showing the income and expenses for this account.
You should arrange for maintenance to be completed on the home while the property is held by the estate. This usually means arranging lawn care and snow plowing. You may also want to add a vacancy addendum to the homeowner's policy if the property will remain vacant for an extended period of time. o Contact the utility company and other creditors to notify them of the decedent's death and let them know that payment will be made once the personal representative is appointed and funds are available.
Personal Representative Fees and Expenses
You may incur expenses during the administration of the estate. These might include mileage, long distance charges, filing fees, etc. You are entitled to receive a reimbursement for these expenses. o You are also entitled to receive reasonable compensation for serving as the personal representative. Discuss this with your attorney to determine an hourly rate.
An inventory of the assets and date of death value must be completed. This inventory includes both the probate and non-probate assets.
At the end of the estate administration, a Final Account must be prepared. This document itemizes all income and expenses of the estate and shows the balance on hand for residual distribution.
After the Final Account has been completed, distributions can be made. You should have each recipient of assets sign a receipt. The receipts can then be filed with the court.
Closing the Estate
Administration of the estate usually takes about one year from the time the personal representative is appointed. o Once all distributions have been made, reports filed and tax letters received, you should contact your attorney to discuss closing the estate.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on
their profile in addition to the information we collect from state
bar associations and other organizations that license legal
professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo
with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do
What determines Avvo Rating?
Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, education
Legal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awards
Legal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagements
This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in .
Disciplinary information may not be comprehensive, or updated. We recommend that you always check a lawyer's disciplinary status with their respective state bar association before hiring them.