The end of life for your friend or family member is an emotionally difficult time. In addition to going through the typical grieving process, you may also need to make sure that their estate is probated. Probate is the process through which the debts of the deceased are paid and their remaining assets are distributed according to the terms of their will or according to Minnesota law. There are many important steps that must be completed to ensure that the probate process is properly concluded. The first step, however, is filing a probate petition.
As with any other type of legal petition or motion filed with the court, there are certain requirements for the contents of the probate petition. First, the person filing the petition will need to include in what way he or she is an interested party entitled to file the paperwork. In other words, he or she must state the relationship to the deceased, such as spouse, child, personal representative, etc. The probate petition also must include the name of the deceased, as well as the dates of death and birth, and the county and state where the deceased resided at the time of death. Next, the petition must include the names and addresses (if known) of the deceased’s heirs, spouse, children, and anyone else name specifically in the will. If any of the heirs or beneficiaries are minors, their ages must be included. If the deceased did not reside in Minnesota at the time of his or her death, then there must be a statement explaining why Minnesota is the proper court to hear the matter. The person filing the petition must provide the name and address of who should be named the personal representative in charge of the estate. Finally, there needs to be a sworn statement from the person filing the application regarding any knowledge of other probate proceedings involving the deceased in Minnesota or any other state. If there is a will, there is additional information which must be included. The will must be attached, or a statement that the will is already in the court’s possession or an authenticated copy if the will has been probated in another jurisdiction. The petition must also include a statement that 1) the will has been validly executed; 2) the person filing the petition is not aware that the will has been revoked; and 3) the time limit to probate the will has not expired.