Ancillary Administration and Appointment Foreign Personal RepresentativeAncillary Administration and Appointment Foreign Personal Representative

Minnesota statute, section 524.4-204, et seq, governs the appointment of foreign personal representatives and/or the approval of ancillary administrations.

This article will try to explain the steps necessary to obtain a foreign appointment or appointment of personal representative in an ancillary probate in Minnesota.

Initial Jurisdictional Issues

Minnesota statute 524.4-204 tells us that a foreign personal representative may file an ancillary court action in a probate court in the county where the deceased’s property was located. Property of a deceased person may be a home, investment property, stock, bond, or other bank/investment account.

To obtain jurisdiction, the petitioner should file two things:

  1. a certified copy of the Order (or other court document) showing that the personal representative was appointed in another state or country. That Order should also state whether any official bond was given in the initiating court.
  2. The petitioner in Minnesota must file a notice of their intention to exercise power over the assets in Minnesota. The ancillary petition will give the petitioner the power that an normal personal representative would have under Minnesota probate law.

Publication of Legal Notice

Once a petitioner has filed a certified copy of the court Order from the foreign jurisdiction (state or country) and their notice of intent to exercise Minnesota jurisdiction, the proper Minnesota court will allow the personal representative to arrange for publication of the required legal notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the deceased lived or held property at the time of death.

The legal notice will dictate the foreign personal representative’s intention to assume the power of a local personal representative under Minnesota law.

Powers of a Foreign Personal Representative

Ancillary Administration and Appointment Foreign Personal Representative

Minnesota law, pursuant to section 524.4-205, outlines the powers of a foreign personal representative.

The law tells us that, once an ancillary personal representative has made the correct filings addressed above, the foreign personal representative must wait 60 days to exercise power over assets located in Minnesota. A person interested in utilizing this statute should also be aware that, if a creditor of the nonresident deceased files a written objection with that 60 day time period, the foreign personal representative cannot act or have power over assets in Minnesota.

Furthermore, Minnesota Statute, section 524.4-206 tells us that the foreign personal representative can only act if no other probate court proceeding or application is pending in any other part of Minnesota. This is important because the court system does not allow foreign personal representatives to act or have legal authority when there is a different action pending in another county or even the same county in Minnesota.

Further jurisdictional issues in Minnesota for foreign personal representatives

Minnesota statute, section 524.3-301 tells us that a foreign personal representative must submit to the jurisdiction of the Minnesota court. This could be good or bad depending on the application of Minnesota law as it relates to the petitioner’s particular facts. It goes without saying that a Minnesota probate attorney should be consulted with if there are any questions about the application of law to a person’s facts.

Furthermore, the foreign personal representative should keep in mind that, under Minnesota Statute, section 524.4-401, any order or ruling by a Minnesota judge, referee, or other judicial officer is binding upon the personal representative. This means that the foreign personal representative must follow Minnesota law in all respects and, especially as it may relate to things like debts of the deceased person or perhaps judgments against the deceased person.

Full Minnesota Ancillary Proceeding

A foreign personal representative may also Petition for a full ancillary proceeding which is very similar to a “normal” probate.  The foreign personal representative would essentially petition in a way similar to a personal representative living in Minnesota. An experienced attorney should be consulted to advise you on whether this process is best for you.

The proceeding described in the prior paragraphs relates only to a “quick” proceeding where court Orders are not needed. In many cases, court Orders are needed and, therefore, the quicker procedure may not advisable in many cases.

One example where the quicker proceeding would not be advisable is when there are known creditor claims and/or known objections.

Be sure to discuss this with your lawyer if you think this issue might come up.  Furthermore, when dealing with financial institutions, it is advisable to always have court Orders because it can be extremely difficult to get banks or other investment companies to release funds without a court Order.  Fighting with financial institutions over the release of money is common in probates.

Ancillary Administration and Appointment Foreign Personal Representative

This is especially true when dealing with bank accounts or investment accounts because the corporate “estate” department is often not even located in Minnesota.

If that is the case, it is common that the bank or financial institution will have people applying laws from all over the United States.  It can be tough to convince them that your knowledge of Minnesota law is better than their knowledge of the law.  Furthermore, experience shows that banks are not interested in being sued by angry heirs who are questioning why they didn’t follow Minnesota law.

Minnesota Ancillary or Foreign Personal Representative Lawyers

If you have questions about the appointment of a foreign personal representative in an ancillary proceeding, feel free to contact Joseph M. Flanders at Flanders Law Firm LLC.

Mr. Flanders is a Minnesota probate attorney with years of experience dealing with the issues described in this article as well as many other probate matters.  It can make a big difference to have a knowledgeable advocate on your side.

Call the office today for your free consultation at: 612-424-0398.


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