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Possible legal issues during ancillary administration

When discussing probate disputes, this blog has usually assumed that the person who died had a Minnesota will and that his or her property was located in Minnesota.

Many residents of Saint Paul probably realize without thinking about it, however, that some people from other states may well own real estate or other property in Minnesota. These types of assets can include things like a person's vacation home.

When someone from another state with property in Minnesota dies, that person's family may have to deal with the Minnesota probate courts, and with this possibility comes the possibility of probate litigation or other asset disputes. Generally speaking, if the decedent was the resident of another state, an executor will not have re-probate a will or get re-appointed in Minnesota.

Nevertheless, the executor will have to get special authority in Minnesota to manage the property that is within the borders of this state. Moreover, the executor will have to follow certain procedures, acceptable under Minnesota law, in order to be fair to all parties involved.

While there are few issues over which people can fight during these so-called ancillary proceedings, probate battles are still possible. For example, in the type of situation described above, there may emerge a dispute over the ownership of a piece of property, specifically if that property is Minnesota real estate. Also, the value of land or other property may become an issue that falls in the laps of Minnesota courts.

Executors from other states may find themselves needing help with a thorny probate issue in Minnesota even if a loved one's estate is, for the most part, located elsewhere and even if a person's will has already been admitted to probate in another state. For these types of issues, the advice of experienced Minnesota probate litigation counsel may be helpful.

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Mason & Helmers
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