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Probate/Estate Frequently Asked Questions

Does everyone need a Will?
If a person dies without a will the state inheritance laws will direct how property will be divided.  By having a will the decedent’s wishes are made known to the Court for the probate process.  Contact a legal adviser for help in making decisions regarding a will. 

How do I get Letters? 
The personal representative is in charge of handling the estate of the decedent. In an informal probate the Registrar appoints the personal representative. In formal probate the Judge appoints the personal representative. In both circumstances all the necessary paperwork is required to be filed before issuance. The selection of informal or formal probate or of an alternative procedural option is the responsibility of the personal representative and/or the attorney.

What can I do if the decedent owes me money?
Once an estate has been filed, a person may file a Written Statement of Claim with the court or the personal representative.  Questions about validity of a claim may be answered by an attorney or legal advisor.  See Minnesota Statute 524.3-804 & 806.

What is a Demand for Notice?
A person desiring notice of any order or filing pertaining to a decedent’s estate in which the person has an interest may file a Demand for Notice with the Court after the death of the decedent.  When a Demand for Notice is received the Court will mail a copy of the Demand for Notice to the personal representative and attorney.

Do I need to probate the Estate?
If the decedent has no ownership in real estate or has less than $50,000.00 in probate assets refer to the form Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property. See Minnesota Statute 524.3-1201. This document is not filed with the Probate Court. 

Who arranges for publication?
The petitioner or the petitioner’s attorney should arrange for publication.  The court will send to you a list of qualified legal newspapers in Dakota County.   

Where can I file probate documents?
The Probate Court of Dakota County is located at 1560 Highway 55, Hastings, MN  55033.  

Does a durable power of attorney continue after death?
This power ceases immediately upon death.  This form is not filed with the Probate Court. 

Where can I find more Probate forms?
You can find Probate forms at the Minnesota court forms web page.