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Basics on Informal Probate & Registrars
Probate Registrars work for the court, and they process all estates that are filed as "informal probate" (unsupervised) cases. Informal probate is a court process designed for estates that do not involve any uncertainties, legal disputes, or complex administrative requirements. Registrars may decline an application for informal probate if it fails to meet the statutory requirements or if the estate is deemed to be unsuitable for informal probate. This does not preclude appointment in "formal" proceedings before the court.
An application for informal probate will not be accepted if any of the following conditions apply:
- The estate is insolvent;
- There are unknown or missing heirs in intestacy;
- There is a missing devise(s) in a testate estate;
- Lost Will;
- The original Will has date problems or has markings on it that require a Will construction or that change an amount of a distribution;
- There is disagreement among the heirs or devisees;
- There is a distribution to a special needs trust;
- There are outright distributions to a minor;
- Minor child, surviving spouse and homestead in intestacy;
- Minor bequest to an unnamed custodian;
- Residue to a custodian for a minor;
- Not all nominations/renunciations filed;
- Non-family member attorney to serve as a personal representative.
The Registrars conduct informal hearings with attorneys and ProSe individuals (persons acting without an attorney). The informal hearing consists of a review of the application, will and other supporting documents required to commence the informal probate proceeding. The application is either accepted or denied based on compliance with state statutes, court rules and court policies. If the application is accepted, the Personal Representative is appointed by Probate Registrar to administer the estate. The Registrars can be reached at: (612)348-8784 or (612)348-8783.
Resources (4th District Court)
The following forms are available from the Hennepin County Probate Court, including:
- Application for Informal Probate of Will and for Informal Appointment of Personal Representative
- Application for Informal Appointment of Personal Representative (No Will)
- Acceptance of Appointment as Personal Representative and Oath by Individual
- Nomination of Personal Representative and Renunciation of Priority for Appointment
- Notice of Informal Probate of Will and Appointment of Personal Representative and Notice to Creditors (Testate)
- Filing of Documents Subsequent to Receipt of Demand for Notice Instructions and Forms
- Notice of Informal Appointment of Personal Representative and Notice to Creditors (Intestate)
- Affidavit of Mailing Notice of Informal Appointment of Personal Representative and Notice to Creditors
- Unsupervised Personal Representatives Statement to Close Estate
NOTE: A Power of Attorney Form is not a court form, but it is a legal form that may be helpful in taking care of important personal business for yourself or others.
More forms are available in the MN Judicial Branch Court Forms Catalog and the Court Rules Appendix of Forms.
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