2nd District  

Judicial Branch Home > 2nd Home > Civil Division >

Probate Court

Log on to MyMNConservator
Conservatorship Site 
(MyMNConservator)

15 W Kellogg Blvd
6th Floor, Room 650
St. Paul MN 55102
Phone: 651-266-8145
Fax: 651-266-8149

Map / Driving Directions

Probate News
and
Announcements




Wills / Estates /
Probate
Do I need to file a will with the court?
Do I need to file my will with the court during my lifetime?

I have a relative who has died. What do I do?
How does the estate get distributed to the heirs?
How is the personal representative (executor) appointed?
What happens to an estate if there is no will?
What happens if the personal representative dies or needs to be replaced?
What happens if additional assets are found after the estate is closed?

How do I contest a will?
How do I object to distribution of property?

I've been told that I need to probate the estate--what does that mean?
I have been named the personal representative (executor) in the will. How do I probate the estate?
If a person dies and leaves a will, is probate necessary?
Do all estates go into probate?

Should I file for Informal or Formal Probate?
How soon after death do I need to probate an estate?
How much does probate cost?
How long does probate take?
Can I electronically file the probate documents?
I am selling the deceased person's house and I haven't gone through probate. What can I do?
The bank has told me I need Letters to collect property. What are Letters and how do I get them?
If someone who owes me or my company money dies, how do I ask for payment from the estate?
Trusts

What is a trust? How is it created?
Does a trust have to be filed with the court to be legal?
How is a dispute involving a trust resolved?
What is a trustee? I have been named trustee--what do I do?
How do I submit an annual accounting of the trust?



Guardianship /
Conservatorship

What is the difference between a guardian and a conservator?
How do I petition for guardianship/conservatorship?
How do I get the court to put me in charge of someone's finances?
How do I get the court to put me in charge of someone's welfare?

Who can be appointed?
What are the obligations of appointment?
How long does the appointment last?
How do I become the Guardian of a child?
As conservator, what can I spend the money on?
What do I do if I have not filed the annual report on time?
How do I submit an annual accounting of the conservatorship?
What do I do if the person under Guardianship/Conservatorship dies?
As a conservator, can I dispose of personal property and sell real estate?
If I am notified that my annual report is late, do I need to appear in court if I file it?
I am trying to collect money (insurance, inheritance, etc.) for a minor. What do I do?
I got a letter from the court about the Personal Well-Being Report. Where do I find the form?
What can be done if the guardian/conservator dies or can no longer control or care for the person?

Other Questions


What are the Probate Court filing fees?
Do you have a glossary of legal terms?

How do I...


Questions on a broader range of topics
Return to the Main FAQ page

Probate Court Fees


Wills, Estates, and Probate

Do I need to file a will with the court?
Do I need to file my will with the court during my lifetime?

If you’re asking about your own will, the court will store your will for a fee if you choose to do so.  If you are responsible for filing the will of someone who has died, you must file it with Probate Court along with the appropriate probate form (Formal or Informal).

I have a relative who has died. What do I do?

Locate the will, if it exists. Then determine what kind of action is necessary, if any. Different steps are required depending on whether you have property of the deceased person that needs to be transferred and on the size and assets of the estate.

To determine which step to take, visit the Estates Page of this site.

Back to top of page

How does the estate get distributed to the heirs?

A personal representative is appointed by the court and oversees distribution of the assets of the estate.

How is the personal representative (executor) appointed?

The court appoints the personal representative after reviewing the will. If no will exists, the court can choose who to appoint. Family members may come forward to request appointment, but the decision rests with the court.

To request appointment, file an Application (Informal Probate) or Petition (Formal Probate) with the court.

For information on what to file and how to file, visit the Estates page of this site.

Back to top of page

What happens to an estate if there is no will?

The closest family members inherit as determined by law.

For more information, review Minnesota Statute 524.2-102 and 524.2-103 on the Minnesota Revisor of Statutes

What happens if the personal representative dies or needs to be replaced?
What happens if additional assets are found after the estate is closed?

Petition the court for appointment of a Successor Personal Representative using the same Formal/Informal Probate proceeding as the original petition. There is a filing fee. Informal Probate Petition Formal Probate Petition

Back to top of page

How do I contest a will?
How do I object to distribution of property?

Appear at the next scheduled hearing and file an Objection with the court. There is a filing fee.

I've been told that I need to probate the estate--what does that mean?

Probate is the legal process of transferring a deceased person's property and belongings after he or she has died. Depending on the size and assets of the estate, different steps are required to accomplish the legal transfer.

To determine what steps to take, visit the Estates page of this site.

Back to top of page

I have been named the personal representative (executor) in the will. How do I probate the estate?

File a petition with the Probate Court in the county where the deceased lived. Informal Probate Petition Formal Probate Petition

For detailed instructions on your options and obligations, visit the Estates page on this site.

If a person dies and leaves a will, is probate necessary?
Do all estates go into probate?

Yes, unless the personal property of the deceased is less than $50,000 and there is no real estate involved. When probate is needed, it is strongly recommended that the parties seek the advice of an attorney.

Back to top of page

Should I file for Informal or Formal Probate?

You may only file Informal Probate if the personal property of the deceased is less than $50,000 and there is no real estate involved. Even if these conditions are met, there may be reasons to file Formal Probate.

For help in making this decision, refer to the Reasons to File Formal Probate checklist and visit the Estates page of this site.

How soon after death do I need to probate an estate?

There is no deadline, but you should file the petition as soon as possible, (but no sooner than 5 days/120 hours after death). If the person died more than three years ago, you must follow the procedure for Determination of Descent found in Chapter 525 of the Minnesota Statutes.

Back to top of page

How much does probate cost?

There are filing fees paid to the court. There are also publication fees. If an attorney is involved, the attorney must be paid an hourly rate. The number of billed hours will vary depending on the complexity of the estate. It is also possible that the administrator of the estate might charge for his or her time. These costs are paid out of the estate.

How long does probate take?

It depends on the complexity of the estate. Normally, it takes from 6 to 18 months.

Back to top of page

Can I electronically file the probate documents?

Yes. For instructions on eFiling, visit the eFile page on this site.

I am selling the deceased person's house and I haven't gone through probate. What can I do?

It will depend on how soon your closing date is. For short deadlines, there is a Special Administration Proceeding that might work for you. There is a filing fee. If your closing is more than seven weeks away, you should be able to probate the estate normally.

Back to top of page

The bank has told me I need Letters to collect property. What are Letters and how do I get them?

Letters are a document showing the court's appointment of the personal representative. File an Application (Informal Probate) or Petition (Formal Probate) with the court.

For information on what to file and how to file, visit the Estates page of this site.

If someone who owes me or my company money dies, how do I ask for payment from the estate?

Notify the personal representative or file a claim with the court. You must follow specific steps and timelines. MS 524.3-806

Back to top of page


Trusts

What is a trust? How is it created?

A trust is an arrangement to hold assets for the benefit of another.

The court is not involved in the creation of trusts. Creating a trust can be complicated. You may want to consult an attorney for assistance.

Does a trust have to be filed with the court to be legal?

No, but trusts are often filed with and even supervised by the court. If it is supervised by the court, annual accounts must be submitted. Administering a trust can be complicated. You may want to consult an attorney for assistance.

Back to top of page

How is a dispute involving a trust resolved?

Disputes regarding trusts may be resolved privately or they may be filed with the court for ruling by a judge. To initiate a request, file what's known as a Petition for Court Order with the Probate Court. This document is not available as a form on this site and so must be prepared by the individual or his/her attorney. There is an associated filing fee.

What is a trustee? I have been named trustee--what do I do?

A trustee manages the trust, which includes some very specific responsibilities. For a more complete explanation of a trustee's duties, refer to MN Statutes contained in section 501B.

Administering a trust can be complicated. You may want to consult an attorney for assistance.

Back to top of page

How do I submit an annual accounting of the trust?

Follow Rule and Form 417.02 of the Rules of Practice of District Courts.


Guardianship and Conservatorship

What is the difference between a guardian and a conservator?

Generally, a guardian has personal care and custody of an individual and a Conservator manages the protected person's finances.

Back to top of page

How do I petition for guardianship/conservatorship?
How do I get the court to put me in charge of someone's finances?
How do I get the court to put me in charge of someone's welfare?

Submit a Petition for Appointment of Guardian/Conservator. There is an associated filing fee. A number of steps (include a mandatory video) and hearings must take place before appointment. Guardianship/Conservatorship is an obligation and restriction to a person's life and should be considered carefully. There may be alternatives and it is strongly suggested you consult an attorney to help you consider all options and to craft the petition should you decide to proceed.

For more information and forms, visit the Guardianship & Conservatorship page of the Self-Help Center. Additional information is available on the Conservatorship/Guardianship page of the Attorney General's web site.

Who can be appointed?

Anyone can be appointed, although the court takes into consideration the wishes of the protected person to the extent that this is possible. A background check is sometimes required.

Back to top of page

What are the obligations of appointment?

Annual reports are required for Guardianship as well as Conservatorship This is an important obligation and should be performed responsibly. It is strongly suggested you consult an attorney to help you understand your obligations.

For more information, consult the manual and video on the Guardianship and Conservatorship page of the Self-Help Center. A Summary Manual is provided by the 2nd District.

How long does the guardianship or conservatorship last?

The guardianship will last until the protected person dies or is restored to capacity. To close the guardianship, file the Death Certificate or Petition for Restoration with the court. To close a Conservatorship, file a final account and be discharged by the court.

Back to top of page

How do I become the Guardian of a child?

File a Petition with the Probate Court in the county where the child lives. To grant permanent guardianship, both parents must be deceased or had parental rights terminated. Otherwise, custody is arranged through Family Court.

As conservator, what can I spend the money on?

Anything for the protected person's welfare. Generally, any large sums should be pre-approved by the court. Other Materials Forms

Back to top of page

What do I do if I have not filed the annual report on time?

Contact the court immediately at the number above. You may be required to appear in court and be charged a penalty.

How do I submit an annual accounting of the conservatorship?

You must register and submit through the MyMNConservator (MMC) site.

Back to top of page

What do I do if the person under Guardianship/Conservatorship dies?

File a death certificate and Final Account with the court at the address above.

As a conservator, can I dispose of personal property and sell real estate?

Yes, but you must get pre-approval. Real Property and Other Material Forms

Back to top of page

If I am notified that my annual report is late, do I need to appear in court if I file it?

Not if you have filed the report. When you receive a Notice to File or Appear and you file the requested documents before the date of the appearance, you do not need to appear in court.

I am trying to collect money (insurance, inheritance, etc.) for a minor. What do I do?

Petition the court for approval to collect the funds. The judicial officer may dictate arrangement as to how the assets will be handled.

Back to top of page

I got a letter from the court about the Personal Well-Being Report. Where do I find the form?

The Personal Well-Being Report GAC 11-U Is located in the Court Forms section of the Minnesota Judicial Branch site.

What can be done if the guardian/conservator dies or can no longer control or care for the person?

Inform the court of the situation. You can take whatever legal actions necessary to protect the person or you can propose a different (successor) guardian.

Back to top of page


Other Questions

What are the Probate Court filing fees?

Probate Court filing fees are listed on a separate document on this site.

Do you have a glossary of legal terms?

Yes. Glossary of Terms

Back to top of page


****FEES.   For most filings, fees have increased.  As of September 1, 2013, filing fees increased. See the Fee Schedule Link for details.

***ELECTRONIC FILING AND SERVICE HAS BEGUN FOR 2ND JUDICIAL DISTRICT PROBATE CASES.  For training and information go to http://www.mncourts.gov/district/2/efile  Electronically filed documents can be handled more efficiently and you will receive quicker court dates and actions than if you paper file.  

**BEFORE A GUARIDANSHIP OR CONSERVATORSHIP COURT HEARING, THE COURT IS NOW REQUIRING ALL PROPOSED GUARDIANS AND CONSERVATORS TO WATCH AN EDUCATIONAL VIDEO ABOUT GUARDIANSHIP AND CONSERVATORSHIP, here, AND VERIFY THAT THEY HAVE DONE SO BY SIGNING THE PROPER ACCEPTANCE OF APPOINTMENT, here.**

Ramsey County Probate Court
650 Courthouse
15 West Kellogg Boulevard
St. Paul, MN 55102-1612

Phone:   651-266-8145
Fax:       651-266-8149

Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday
Closed Legal Holidays


Probate Court has jurisdiction over cases concerning the disposition of property belonging to deceased persons, administration of court-supervised trusts, proceedings to create guardianships and conservatorships for minor children, incapacitated or incompetent adults, and civil commitment proceedings.

Probate law is based on the ecclesiastical law of the church and historically this court was known as the "widows and orphans court."  The Probate Court now operates under a modification of the Uniform Probate Code, specifically Minnesota Statutes 524 and 525, the Rules of Civil Procedure, and the General Rules of Practice, Title V. Probate Rules: HTML, Word DOC, Adobe PDF



The Probate Division is located on the Sixth Floor of the Ramsey County Courthouse.

LINKS AND RESOURCES

Decedent's Estates

Guardianships/Conservatorships

Trusts

Civil Commitments

Fee Schedule

Additional Probate & Trust Resources

Attorneys click here to email proposed orders

 

File Conservatorship Accounts On-Line
Click Here or on the Mouse Below for Access and Instructions

Click Here for Log on and Instructions



JUDICIAL OFFICERS

Judges Probate Referee
Hon. Paulette K. Flynn Joel Olson
Hon. David C. Higgs