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How Much Does an Estate Have to Be Worth to Go to Probate in Minnesota?

By December 2, 2021 January 5th, 2022 No Comments

Probate is the time-confusing and labor-intensive legal process of administering a person’s estate who has died. One of the most common questions we face is in regards to the value of an estate and if it can avoid probate if it’s below a certain threshold.

Value Threshold of Minnesota Estates in Probate

In Minnesota, if an estate is worth $75,000 or less (the total value of all so-called “probate assets”), the estate’s heirs may be able to use the “Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property” form to collect the property without going to court. In any case, heirs must wait 30 days following the death of the estate’s owner. Estates having probate assets exceeding $75,000 in value must be probated.

What to Know About Minnesota Probate

Minnesota law states that probate must begin within three years of the decedent’s death, otherwise, a different type of proceeding called a Decree of Descent is required. However, most people prefer to start the process much sooner to deal with estate-related expenses and just obtain general closure of the matters at hand.

In Minnesota, probate begins by filing the appropriate documents with the court in the county where the decedent resided at the time of his or her death or where he or she owns real property. The court then appoints a personal representative to administer the estate.

The person who the court appoints is largely determined by any existing will prepared by the decedent. Will creators typically name a personal representative, and that person will have priority to be appointed by the court. If there is no will, the priority is determined by state law and is typically either the decedent’s spouse or one of the decedent’s adult children. If neither are available, other succession laws kick in.

Regardless of the will and its validity, a personal representative does not have authority to handle estate business until appointed by a court order. This is important when considering overall estate matters.

As noted above, there are certain valuation thresholds to consider when determining if a Minnesota estate will have to go through probate. Most people who serve as personal representatives are new to the duty and may not understand the different rules and regulations at play. In these situations, an experienced Minnesota probate attorney can help by consulting and offering guidance through this confusing and taxing process.


Call Waldron Law Offices, Ltd. today at (952) 471-0940 to learn more.

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