The Minnesota Judicial Branch has published 13 new probate forms to assist Minnesotans who are entering into informal probate.

The forms will simplify the probate process by eliminating most locally derived probate court forms. The new probate forms will create a more consistent and coherent probate process for Minnesotans, no matter what court they visit.

The forms are in plain language and avoid complex legalese, making them a great resource for Minnesotans entering the probate process without a lawyer. The Probate, Wills & Estates Help Topic on the Minnesota Judicial Branch website has been updated to include these new forms and how the process will be streamlined for court users.

“Probate is one of the most common reasons a Minnesotan enters into the state court system,” said Self-Represented Litigant Program Manager Melissa Kantola. “We know that probate often coincides with the grieving process. We strive to make the court process easy to understand for those who do not have legal representation. These 13 new probate forms will make the informal probate process more consistent and simple for all Minnesotans.”

The 13 new probate forms:

• Instructions – Starting a Case: Informal Probate without a Will

• Application for Informal Appointment of Personal Representative (Without a Will)

• Affidavit of Mailing for Informal Probate (without Will)

• Instructions – Starting a Case: Informal Probate with a Will

• Application for Informal Probate of Will and for Informal Appointment of Personal Representative

• Affidavit of Mailing for Informal Probate (with Will)

• Nomination of Personal Representative and/or Renunciation of Priority for Appointment, and Bond

• Acceptance of Appointment of Personal Representative and Oath by Individual

• Affidavit of Mailing of Notice to the Commissioner of Human Services Regarding Possible Claims

• Notice to Commissioner of Human Services Regarding Possible Claims

• Notice to Spouse and/or Children

• Notice of Intent to File Document After Demand for Notice

• Petition Objecting to Appointment of Personal Representative

Probate is the legal process for distributing the property and resolving debt of a deceased person. The process is typically conducted according to a deceased person’s will, or as prescribed by state law if no will exists. There are two types of probate, formal and informal. During an Informal probate process, an informal application can be filed to ask the court to appoint a personal representative, without a hearing in front of a judge, in situations that are less complicated. The formal probate process involves filing a formal petition to ask the court to appoint a personal representative, with a hearing in front of a judge, in situations that may be more complicated.

Reach Regional Managing Editor Suzanne Rook at 507-333-3134. Follow her on Twitter @rooksuzy

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