Getting Letters Testamentary in a Minnesota probate

Perhaps the number 1 question that my office receives in regard to Minnesota probates is:  How do I get Letters Testamentary?

The simple answer to that question is that a probate process must be started.  Naturally, the follow-up question is often:  how do I do that?

The Minnesota Probate Process

In order to receive letters testamentary, a personal representative (executor) of the estate must be appointed by a district court in Minnesota.  The proper court will be located in the county where the deceased person lived (domicile) or had assets.

The personal representative will be chosen in the deceased’s Will.  Sometimes more than one person is nominated.  Most of the time, this person accepts the responsibility and agrees to serve the deceased person’s estate.   Once this person is located, he or she will need to draft a petition to the district court to have the estate process begun.

Beginning the Probate Process in Minnesota

Once the personal representative has petitioned the court, he or she will need to also submit proposed Orders, Letters Testamentary, an Acceptance of Appointment and Oath, and nomination documents from the heirs, devisees, distributees, and other interested parties of the estate.  The personal representative will also need to choose between an informal or formal estate.  This person will also need to determine whether the estate will be supervised or unsupervised.  If you have question about any of this, consult with a qualified Minnesota probate attorney.

Once the proper process is chosen, the court or probate registrar of the county will set the matter for hearing.  In between the time of the filing of the petition and the hearing, the personal representative must do two important things:  (1) locate all heirs, creditors, and interest parties and (2) publish notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the deceased lived. Once these steps have been followed, the personal representative needs to testify that he/she did this in a court document called an Affidavit of Mailing.  Furthermore, an Affidavit of Publication will need to be filed with the probate court or registrar to show that the notice of hearing and notice to creditors has been filed in the newspaper.

The court hearing

Assuming the above has been accomplished and done properly (again, consulting with a probate lawyer should be done) then the court or registrar will hold a hearing.  The personal representative may need to testify before the judge on the petition.  Once this is done, the court will appoint the petitioner as the personal representative of the estate, tell the personal representative the he/she must follow the law, and then, finally, the court will issue Letters Testamentary.  That’s it.  Easy, right?

Minnesota Probate Lawyers

Contact Flanders Law Firm LLC and attorney Joseph Flanders if you have questions about getting Letters Testamentary in a Minnesota probate.  The firm offers free initial consultation to all clients.  Call the law firm today at 612-424-0398.

Minnesota Attorney General Information

Click on the following link for more information from the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office regarding Minnesota probates.