Do-It-Yourself Minnesota Probate

Do-It-Yourself Minnesota Probate

Do-It-Yourself Minnesota Probate

Do-It-Yourself Minnesota Probate – Forms

There are a number of Minnesota probate forms which are now freely available on the Internet from various sources.

Some of the forms are self explanatory.

However, other forms are more difficult to work with – particularly for newcomers.

Do-It-Yourself Minnesota Probate – Terms and Procedures

There are also glossaries of probate terms, and descriptions of procedures relating to the administration of Minnesota Probate estates which are available on the Internet – from both judicial web sites, and probate attorney web sites.

Do-It-Yourself Minnesota Probate – Commencement

Certainly, some persons facing simple probate situations may be able to commence probate proceedings without proper legal assistance.

However, many probate estates are sufficiently complex that it would be best to obtain professional assistance from the beginning.

In addition, inevitably situations will arise which are not addressed:

  • by the freely available forms, or
  • by the general information which is available on the Internet.

Do-It-Yourself Minnesota Probate – Creditor Claims

For example, the proper handling of creditor claims – including State of Minnesota Medical Assistance claims for reimbursement – is one area that can be a minefield for the unwary.

A Minnesota Personal Representative will need to be proactive, and must know how to:

  • obtain the necessary information regarding creditor claims which have been filed, and
  • properly respond to any claims which are filed or presented.

Do-It-Yourself Minnesota Probate – Income Tax Issues

Income tax issues are always a concern for Minnesota Personal Representatives, because of the personal liability that the Minnesota Personal Representative may have for the unpaid income taxes of the decedent.

Do-It-Yourself Minnesota Probate – Real Estate Title Issues

Real estate title issues which arise due to the death of the decedent are clearly one area which will require professional legal assistance.

The decedent’s title in real estate may have been owned in fee simple, or the decedent may have held a terminable interest, such as:

The decedent may have held title as a tenant in common, or as a joint tenant, together with other owners.

The decedent’s interest in Minnesota real property may also be subject to a Medical Assistance lien for reimbursement of a Minnesota County’s payment of Medical Assistance benefits on behalf of the decedent.

Upon the sale of real property by a Minnesota Personal Representative of an estate, probate court documents must be obtained for the closing.

If the Minnesota real property has been registered as Torrens Property, the approval of the County Examiner of Titles must be obtained in order for the Minnesota Personal Representative’s Deed to be recorded.

All such situations would require legal analysis, and an appropriate response.

The average do-it-yourselfer may not have the legal knowledge to know how to address such situations, and some title companies will defer to the Minnesota probate attorney in order to satisfy any title requirements relating to such issues.

Do-It-Yourself Minnesota Probate – Closing an Estate

Properly closing an estate is another area ripe for confusion, with potential opportunities for malfeasance claims being made against a Minnesota Personal Representative.

However, there are several available probate closing procedures which may either limit, or eliminate, liability for the Minnesota Personal Representative, but are unknown to many.

Do-It-Yourself Minnesota Probate – Final Accounts

Preparing a Minnesota Final Account, and being able to get the actual cash on hand to balance with the accounting record of cash that should be available for distribution, is difficult enough for an experienced probate practitioner – yet a daunting task for the uninitiated.

In over 25 years of probate practice, I have yet to see a Minnesota Personal Representative initially provide with sufficient information which would allow for the proper completion of a Final Account.

Minnesota Personal Representatives administering their first probate estate would have little chance of knowing the information which would be necessary in order to have the actual cash on hand balance with the accounting record of cash that should be available for distribution.

Preparation of a proper Final Account is not intuitive, and requires:

  • the skill of a bookkeeper,
  • the knowledge of a tax accountant,
  • the insight of an auditor, and
  • the experience of a probate attorney.

Do-It-Yourself Minnesota Probate – Other Issues

Bonding requirements, supervised estates, distributions to minor beneficiaries, court reporting responsibilities, and disclaimer opportunities all identify areas with which the typical probate do-it-yourselfer would be unfamiliar, and perhaps unable to properly address.

Do-It-Yourself Minnesota Probate – Obtaining Assistance

If you have commenced a Minnesota probate proceeding on your own, and have discovered that you may need help completing the process, I invite you to contact me for professional assistance.

If you have a working e-mail account, computer and printer, Minnesota attorney Gary C. Dahle can assist you with devising a solution to your do-it-yourself Minnesota probate situation, and completing your probate documents in every Minnesota County:

  • from Kittson County in the Northwest, to Houston County in the Southeast;
  • from Rock County on the Iowa and South Dakota borders, to Cook County on Lake Superior,
  • from Koochiching County on the Canadian border, to Faribault County on the Iowa border, and
  • from Lac Qui Parle County in the West, to Carlton County in the East.

If you lack a computer or printer, you may want to retain Minnesota attorney Gary C. Dahle to finish the entire process, as many of the closing probate documents are custom drafted to the situation in each particular estate.

Minnesota attorney Gary C. Dahle has family history in Aitkin County, Clay County, Crow Wing County, Hennepin County, Kandiyohi County, Lac Qui Parle County, Nobles County, and Ramsey County in Minnesota, and is personally familiar with the environs in such counties.

Do-It-Yourself Minnesota Probate – Representing Minnesota Personal Representatives

Minnesota attorney Gary C. Dahle has been the attorney of record for personal representatives of estates in Anoka County, Clay County, Chisago County, Dakota County, Crow Wing County, Hennepin County, Morrison County, Nobles County, Pine County, Ramsey County, Renville County, Rice County, St. Louis County, and Washington County in Minnesota.

Since many Minnesota counties have their own peculiarities regarding the manner in which they will address certain issues, retaining professional assistance is important in order to address such County by County peculiarities

Do-It-Yourself Minnesota Probate – Representing Minnesota Beneficiaries

Minnesota attorney Gary C. Dahle has also represented beneficiaries of estates who resided in states from Massachusetts to California, and has consulted with parties have any interest in estates venued in various Minnesota counties.

If you are a beneficiary of an estate, and not the personal representative, you may want to retain Minnesota attorney Gary C. Dahle to advise you as to:

  • your rights as a beneficiary, and
  • when you can expect to receive your share of the estate.

Unfortunately, if Minnesota attorney Gary C. Dahle already represents the personal representative of an estate, he cannot also represent the beneficiaries of the estate – since that would be a conflict of interest.

If you are estate beneficiary residing in Minnesota, or anywhere else, contact attorney Gary C. Dahle for assistance with receiving your proper share of the estate.

Do-It-Yourself Minnesota Probate – Personal Appearance in Minnesota Probate Court

While attorney Gary C. Dahle may not be able to make a personal appearance in the probate courts of certain outlying Minnesota counties, he can:

  • assist personal representatives with document preparation in order to properly administer probate estates in all Minnesota counties,
  • assist beneficiaries of estates in obtaining their rightful distributions, and
  • associate with local counsel in outlying Minnesota counties to make whatever probate court appearances are required by the situation.

Conclusion – Do-It-Yourself Minnesota Probate

If you have need of assistance with any aspect of do-it-yourself Minnesota probate, contact attorney Gary C. Dahle, at 763-780-8390, or

Copyright 2017 – All Rights Reserved

Gary C. Dahle – Attorney at Law

2704 County Road 10, Mounds View, MN 55112

Phone:  763-780-8390    Fax: 763-780-1735

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Legal Disclaimer

Information provided herein is only for general informational and educational purposes.

Minnesota probate law involves many complex legal issues.

If you have a specific legal problem about which you are seeking advice, either consult with your own attorney or retain an attorney of your choice.

Gary C. Dahle, Attorney at Law, is licensed to practice law in the State of Minnesota, in the United States of America. Therefore, only those persons interested in matters governed by the laws of the State of Minnesota should consult with, or provide information to, Gary C. Dahle, Attorney at Law, or take note of information provided herein.

Accessing the web site of Gary C. Dahle, Attorney at Law – – may be held to be a request for information. However, the mere act of either providing information to Gary C. Dahle, Attorney at Law, or taking note of information provided on, does not constitute legal advice, or establish an attorney/client relationship.

Nothing herein will be deemed to be the practice of law or the provision of legal advice. Clients are accepted by Gary C. Dahle, Attorney at Law, only after preliminary personal communications with him, and subject to mutual agreement on terms of representation.

If you are not a current client of Gary C. Dahle, Attorney at Law, please do not use the e-mail links or forms to communicate confidential information which you wish to be protected by the attorney-client privilege.

Please use caution in communicating over the Internet. The Internet is not a secure environment and confidential information sent by e-mail may be at risk.

Gary C. Dahle, Attorney at Law, provides the web site and its contents on an “as is” basis, and makes no representations or warranties concerning site content or function, including but not limited to any warranty of accuracy, or completeness.

Links to Minnesota Probate Records

Minnesota Department of Health – Death Records Index – 1997 to Present:

Minnesota Historical Society – Death Records; 1904 – 2001:

Minnesota Department of Health – Birth Certificates

Minnesota Historical Society – Birth Records:

Minnesota Marriage Records