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Instructions - Starting a Case: Informal Probate with a Will

Bar Buzz: New forms simplify pro se probate

If there is a will, now there is a way—even (perish the thought) if no attorney is in the picture.

The Minnesota Judicial Branch has published 13 new probate forms to assist residents entering the informal probate process without the aid of an attorney.

The forms, which are devoid of complex legalese, took a year to develop with the help of state court administration and judicial district staff. The standardized forms are meant to replace most locally derived probate forms, according to a Judicial Branch press release.

“Probate is one of the most common reasons a Minnesotan enters into the state court system,” said Melissa Kantola, manager of the Judicial Branch’s Self-Represented Litigant Program, who is quoted in the release.

“These 13 new probate forms will make the informal probate process more consistent and simple for all Minnesotans,” she said.

Probate often coincides with grief after someone dies, Kantola noted, and the new forms are meant to make property transfers and other probate matters easier for already stressed families to handle.

The new forms will help create a more consistent and coherent probate process no matter what Minnesota courthouse is visited, the press release says.

The new forms are available online under the heading “Informal probate forms.”

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About Kevin Featherly

Kevin Featherly, who joined BridgeTower Media in mid-2016, is a journalist and former freelance writer who has covered politics, law, business, technology and popular culture for publications and websites in the Twin Cities and nationally since the mid-1990s.

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