We are working remotely and all of us continue to be available by telephone or email. In alignment with national, state and local initiatives as it relates to the coronavirus, we remain open for business and have changed the way we are working for the health and well-being of our employees, and you, our valued clients and colleagues. Read more

Mason & Helmers
We Welcome Your Call
  • Phone 651-323-2548
  • Toll Free 877-389-5533

Who can be a personal representative?

A personal representative, sometimes called an executor, is someone that the decedent chose, or who the court appointed, to settle his or her estate based on the directions in his or her will. This person is one of several fiduciaries that could be associated with the estate.

Almost anyone can be named a personal representative, but typically people choose spouses, siblings or children. Minnesota only requires that the personal representative is at least 18 years old and of sound mind. Due to the responsibilities expected of a personal representative, it is often prudent that the personal representative is also organized, adept in communication and located near most of the assets.

If the court determines the personal representative is unsuitable, it will likely hold a hearing with all the people involved in the estate to appoint a new personal representative. The court will also select a personal representative if the decedent did not choose one or the chosen person renounces the position. If the court appoints a new personal representative, that person will likely be selected from a predetermined hierarchy set by the state.

Disputes can occur among family members if there are hard feelings about the person chosen as personal representative. Disputes can also arise from family members, other beneficiaries or even creditors if the personal representative does not fulfill the role's responsibilities correctly or is perceived to not fulfill them correctly.

There are a variety of ways to resolve conflicts like these, though sometimes the disputes result in probate litigation. This can be a lengthy and expensive process that often has emotional repercussions, especially if the dispute is among family members.

Although the personal representative can be almost anyone, to avoid or minimize litigation he or she should be trustworthy and have the skills to manage the estate without disrupting the balance of family dynamics. It is a difficult and sometimes emotional role, but one that it essential for the finalization of the decedent's financial affairs.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

For Assistance with Estate Disputes & Other Matters, Contact Us

To learn more about the firm and how we can assist you,
contact Mason & Helmers in St. Paul, Minnesota. Call 651-323-2548 or 877-389-5533 (toll free) to set up an appointment.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review
rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories — legal ability and general ethical standards.

Contact Our Attorneys

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Response
Mason & Helmers

Mason & Helmers
332 Minnesota Street
Suite W-3070
St. Paul, MN 55101

Toll Free: 877-389-5533
Phone: 651-323-2548
St. Paul Law Office Map