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Dakota County Probate Court

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Conservators appointed by the court must now complete their reports online using our "MyMNConservator (MMC)" e-filing tool.

The following is a general description of procedures and basic information about the Probate process in Dakota County Probate Court. This information is not intended to advise participants on legal issues, nor is it intended to be a substitute for a lawyer or legal advice. By statute, court employees may not give legal advice.

Probate
Probate is the legal process of settling an estate.  A determination of heirship is made and a personal representative is appointed.  If the decedent had a will, the court determines the validity of the will.  The Minnesota Statutes and the Probate Court Rules govern the probate process. 

Depositing a Will for Safekeeping 
Dakota County has jurisdiction over the deposit of wills for safekeeping and provides the service of allowing the public to file their original wills with the court.  Wills remain with the Court even after death.  If a probate proceeding is initiated, the will is filed with the estate file.  Original wills are considered permanent court records and copies may be released by the court only upon proof of death.  Listed below is deposit and withdrawal information: 

  • Only Dakota County residents may deposit their wills with the Dakota County Probate Court.
  • Wills may be deposited by a testator or someone under their direction.
  • The will must be submitted in a sealed envelope with name, address and date of birth on the outside of the envelope.
  • The deposit filing fee.
  • After a will is filed for safekeeping, the testator will receive a Certificate of Deposit and an Affidavit of Withdrawal.  The Affidavit of Withdrawal is used if a testator decides to withdraw the will at a later date.
  • There are two ways to withdraw a will –  
  • By mail – Complete and send the signed, witnessed and notarized Affidavit of Withdrawal form. 
  • In person – Present the Affidavit of Withdrawal form that has been signed, witnessed and notarized.  If this form is not available, we require a driver’s license or state ID card. 

Estate Proceedings

Frequently Asked Questions