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Minnesota Probate Proceedings


When a person dies, a probate proceeding may be necessary to see that that the deceased person’s debts are paid and that any remaining assets are distributed to the deceased person’s beneficiaries or heirs.  The probate process includes:

  • identifying a deceased person’s assets and debts,
  • collecting the deceased person’s assets
  • paying the deceased person’s valid debts, including any taxes due;
  • accounting for all assets collected and all debts and expenses paid; and
  • distributing any remaining assets to the deceased person’s intended beneficiaries or heirs.

A deceased person is commonly referred to as the “decedent.”  The decedent’s assets are referred to as the decedent’s “estate”.  In Minnesota, the person responsible for managing the estate is called the “personal representative” (a/k/a executor).

For more information, see:

  • When is a probate proceeding required?
  • Which assets must be probated (probate assets)?
  • Which assets do need to be probated (non-probate assets)?
  • Who can be personal representative and what does he/she do?
  • Types of probate proceedings
  • Which debts and taxes must be paid?
  • What must happen to “close” an estate?