as introduced - 86th Legislature (2009 - 2010) Posted on 02/22/2010 11:55am
A bill for an act
relating to probate; establishing probate and intestate rights for domestic partners;
amending Minnesota Statutes 2008, sections 524.1-201; 524.2-101; 524.2-102;
524.2-103; 524.2-201; 524.2-213; 524.2-301; 524.2-402; 524.2-403; 524.2-404;
524.2-405; 524.2-803; 524.2-804; 524.3-301; 524.3-403; 524.3-703; 524.3-706;
524.3-715; 524.3-901; 524.3-906; 524.3-1203, subdivisions 1, 3; Minnesota
Statutes 2009 Supplement, section 524.3-1203, subdivision 5.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 524.1-201, is amended to read:
Subject to additional definitions contained in the subsequent articles which are
applicable to specific articles or parts, and unless the context otherwise requires, in
chapters 524 and 525:
(2) "Application" means a written request to the registrar for an order of informal
probate or appointment under article III, part 3.
(3) "Beneficiary," as it relates to trust beneficiaries, includes a person who has any
present or future interest, vested or contingent, and also includes the owner of an interest
by assignment or other transfer and as it relates to a charitable trust, includes any person
entitled to enforce the trust.
(5) "Child" includes any individual entitled to take as a child under law by intestate
succession from the parent whose relationship is involved and excludes any person who is
only a stepchild, a foster child, a grandchild or any more remote descendant.
(6) "Claims" includes liabilities of the decedent whether arising in contract
or otherwise and liabilities of the estate which arise after the death of the decedent
including funeral expenses and expenses of administration. The term does not include
taxes, demands or disputes regarding title of a decedent to specific assets alleged to be
included in the estate, tort claims, foreclosure of mechanic's liens, or to actions pursuant
to section 573.02.
(7) "Court" means the court or branch having jurisdiction in matters relating to the
affairs of decedents. This court in this state is known as the district court.
(8) "Conservator" means a person who is appointed by a court to manage the estate
of a protected person.
(9) "Descendant" of an individual means all of the individual's descendants of all
generations, with the relationship of parent and child at each generation being determined
by the definition of child and parent contained in this section.
(10) "Devise," when used as a noun, means a testamentary disposition of real or
personal property and when used as a verb, means to dispose of real or personal property
(11) "Devisee" means any person designated in a will to receive a devise. In the case
of a devise to an existing trust or trustee, or to a trustee on trust described by will, the trust
or trustee is the devisee and the beneficiaries are not devisees.
(13) "Distributee" means any person who has received or who will receive property
of a decedent from the decedent's personal representative other than as a creditor or
purchaser. A testamentary trustee is a distributee with respect to property which the trustee
has received from a personal representative only to the extent of distributed assets or their
increment remaining in the trustee's hands. A beneficiary of a testamentary trust to whom
the trustee has distributed property received from a personal representative is a distributee
of the personal representative. For purposes of this provision, "testamentary trustee"
includes a trustee to whom assets are transferred by will, to the extent of the devised assets.
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deleted text begin (14)deleted text endnew text beginnew text end "Estate" includes all of the property of the decedent, trust, or other person
whose affairs are subject to this chapter as originally constituted and as it exists from
time to time during administration.
(16) "Fiduciary" includes personal representative, guardian, conservator and trustee.
(17) "Foreign personal representative" means a personal representative of another
(18) "Formal proceedings" means those conducted before a judge with notice to
(20) "Guardian" means a person who has qualified as a guardian of a minor or
incapacitated person pursuant to testamentary or court appointment, but excludes one
who is merely a guardian ad litem.
(21) "Heirs" means those persons, including the surviving spousenew text beginnew text end, who are entitled under the statutes of intestate succession to the property of a
(22) "Incapacitated person" is as described in section 524.5-102, subdivision 6,
other than a minor.
(23) "Informal proceedings" means those conducted by the judge, the registrar, or
the person or persons designated by the judge for probate of a will or appointment of a
personal representative in accordance with sections 524.3-301 to 524.3-311.
(24) "Interested person" includes heirs, devisees, children, spouses, new text beginnew text endcreditors, beneficiaries and any others having a property right in or claim
against the estate of a decedent, ward or protected person which may be affected by
the proceeding. It also includes persons having priority for appointment as personal
representative, and other fiduciaries representing interested persons. The meaning as it
relates to particular persons may vary from time to time and must be determined according
to the particular purposes of, and matter involved in, any proceeding.
(27) "Lease" includes an oil, gas, or other mineral lease.
(28) "Letters" includes letters testamentary, letters of guardianship, letters of
administration, and letters of conservatorship.
(30) "Mortgage" means any conveyance, agreement or arrangement in which
property is used as security.
(31) "Nonresident decedent" means a decedent who was domiciled in another
jurisdiction at the time of death.
(32) "Organization" includes a corporation, government or governmental subdivision
or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership or association, two or more persons
having a joint or common interest, or any other legal entity.
(35) "Person" means an individual, a corporation, an organization, or other legal
(36) "Personal representative" includes executor, administrator, successor personal
representative, special administrator, and persons who perform substantially the same
function under the law governing their status. "General personal representative" excludes
(37) "Petition" means a written request to the court for an order after notice.
(38) "Proceeding" includes action at law and suit in equity.
(39) "Property" includes both real and personal property or any interest therein and
means anything that may be the subject of ownership.
(40) "Protected person" is as described in section 524.5-102, subdivision 14.
(42) "Registrar" refers to the judge of the court or the person designated by the court
to perform the functions of registrar as provided in section 524.1-307.
(43) "Security" includes any note, stock, treasury stock, bond, debenture, evidence
of indebtedness, certificate of interest or participation in an oil, gas or mining title
or lease or in payments out of production under such a title or lease, collateral trust
certificate, transferable share, voting trust certificate or, in general, any interest or
instrument commonly known as a security, or any certificate of interest or participation,
any temporary or interim certificate, receipt or certificate of deposit for, or any warrant
or right to subscribe to or purchase, any of the foregoing.
(44) "Settlement," in reference to a decedent's estate, includes the full process of
administration, distribution and closing.
(46) "State" includes any state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any territory or possession subject to the legislative
authority of the United States.
(47) "Successor personal representative" means a personal representative, other than
a special administrator, who is appointed to succeed a previously appointed personal
(48) "Successors" means those persons, other than creditors, who are entitled to
property of a decedent under the decedent's will, this chapter or chapter 525. "Successors"
also means a funeral director or county government that provides the funeral and burial of
the decedent, or a state or county agency with a claim authorized under section 256B.15.
(51) "Testacy proceeding" means a proceeding to establish a will or determine
(53) "Trust" includes any express trust, private or charitable, with additions
thereto, wherever and however created. It also includes a trust created or determined
by judgment or decree under which the trust is to be administered in the manner of
an express trust. "Trust" excludes other constructive trusts, and it excludes resulting
trusts, conservatorships, personal representatives, trust accounts as defined in chapter
528, custodial arrangements pursuant to sections 149A.97, 318.01 to 318.06, 527.21 to
527.44, business trusts providing for certificates to be issued to beneficiaries, common
trust funds, voting trusts, security arrangements, liquidation trusts, and trusts for the
primary purpose of paying debts, dividends, interest, salaries, wages, profits, pensions, or
employee benefits of any kind, and any arrangement under which a person is nominee
or escrowee for another.
(54) "Trustee" includes an original, additional, or successor trustee, whether or not
appointed or confirmed by court.
(55) "Ward" is as described in section 524.5-102, subdivision 17.
(56) "Will" includes codicil and any testamentary instrument which merely appoints
an executor or revokes or revises another will.
Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 524.2-101, is amended to read:
(a) The intestate estate of the decedent consists of any part of the decedent's estate
not allowed to the decedent's spousenew text beginnew text end or descendants under sections
524.2-402, 524.2-403, and 524.2-404, and not disposed of by will. The intestate estate
passes by intestate succession to the decedent's heirs as prescribed in this chapter, except
as modified by the decedent's will.
(b) A decedent by will may expressly exclude or limit the right of an individual
or class to succeed to property of the decedent passing by intestate succession. If that
individual or a member of that class survives the decedent, the share of the decedent's
intestate estate to which that individual or class would have succeeded passes as if that
individual or each member of that class had disclaimed an intestate share.
Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 524.2-102, is amended to read:
The intestate share of a decedent's surviving spouse new text beginnew text endis:
(1) the entire intestate estate if:
(i) no descendant of the decedent survives the decedent; or
(ii) all of the decedent's surviving descendants are also descendants of the surviving
spouse new text beginnew text endand there is no other descendant of the surviving spouse new text beginnew text endwho survives the decedent;
(2) the first $150,000, plus one-half of any balance of the intestate estate, if all of
the decedent's surviving descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse new text beginnew text endand the surviving spouse new text beginnew text endhas one or more surviving
descendants who are not descendants of the decedent, or if one or more of the decedent's
surviving descendants are not descendants of the surviving spousenew text beginnew text end.
Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 524.2-103, is amended to read:
Any part of the intestate estate not passing to the decedent's surviving spouse
new text beginnew text endunder section 524.2-102, or the entire intestate estate if there is no
surviving spousenew text beginnew text end, passes in the following order to the individuals
designated below who survive the decedent:
(1) to the decedent's descendants by representation;
(2) if there is no surviving descendant, to the decedent's parents equally if both
survive, or to the surviving parent;
(3) if there is no surviving descendant or parent, to the descendants of the decedent's
parents or either of them by representation;
(4) if there is no surviving descendant, parent, or descendant of a parent, but the
decedent is survived by one or more grandparents or descendants of grandparents, half
of the estate passes to the decedent's paternal grandparents equally if both survive,
or to the surviving paternal grandparent, or to the descendants of the decedent's
paternal grandparents or either of them if both are deceased, the descendants taking by
representation; and the other half passes to the decedent's maternal relatives in the same
manner; but if there is no surviving grandparent or descendant of a grandparent on either
the paternal or the maternal side, the entire estate passes to the decedent's relatives on the
other side in the same manner as the half;
(5) if there is no surviving descendant, parent, descendant of a parent, grandparent,
or descendant of a grandparent, to the next of kin in equal degree, except that when there
are two or more collateral kindred in equal degree claiming through different ancestors,
those who claim through the nearest ancestor shall take to the exclusion of those claiming
through an ancestor more remote.
Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 524.2-201, is amended to read:
In this part:
(2) "Interest in property held with right of survivorship" means the severable interest
owned by the person or persons whose interest is being determined in property held in
joint tenancy or in other form of common ownership with a right of survivorship. The
interest shall be identified and valued as of the time immediately prior to the death of
the decedent or the date of the transfer which causes the property to be included in the
augmented estate, as the case may be. In the case of an account described in article 6, part
2, the severable interest owned by the person is the amount which belonged to the person
determined under section 524.6-203. In the case of property described in article 6, part 3,
the severable interest owned by the person is the amount consistent with section 524.6-306.
(3) "Marriage," as it relates to a transfer by the decedent during marriage, means any
marriage of the decedent to the decedent's surviving spouse.
(4) "Nonadverse party" means a person who does not have a substantial beneficial
interest in the trust or other property arrangement that would be adversely affected by the
exercise or nonexercise of the power that the person possesses respecting the trust or other
property arrangement. A person having a general power of appointment over property is
deemed to have a beneficial interest in the property.
(5) "Power" or "power of appointment" includes a power to designate the beneficiary
of an insurance policy or other contractual arrangement.
(6) "Presently exercisable general power of appointment" means a power possessed
by a person at the time in question to create a present or future interest in the person,
in the person's creditors, in the person's estate, or in the creditor of the person's estate,
whether or not the person then had the capacity to exercise the power. "General power of
appointment" means a power, whether or not presently exercisable, possessed by a person
to create a present or future interest in the person, in the person's creditors, in the person's
estate, or in creditors of the person's estate.
(7) "Probate estate" means property that would pass by intestate succession if the
decedent dies without a valid will.
(8) "Property" includes values subject to a beneficiary designation.
(9) "Right to income" includes a right to payments under a commercial or private
annuity, an annuity trust, a unitrust, or a similar arrangement.
(10) "Transfer" includes: (i) the exercise, release, or lapse of a general power of
appointment created by the decedent alone or in conjunction with any other person, or
exercisable by a nonadverse party; and (ii) the exercise or release by the decedent of a
presently exercisable general power of appointment created by someone other than the
decedent. "Transfer" does not include the lapse, other than a lapse at death, of a power
described in clause (ii).
(11) "Bona fide purchaser" means a purchaser for value in good faith and without
notice or actual knowledge of an adverse claim, or a person who receives a payment or
other item of property in partial or full satisfaction of a legally enforceable obligation
in good faith without notice of an adverse claim. In the case of real property located
in Minnesota purchased from a successor or successors in interest of a decedent, the
purchaser is without notice of an adverse claim arising under this part or, if the decedent
was not domiciled in Minnesota at the time of death, arising under similar provisions of
the law of the decedent's domicile, unless the decedent's surviving spouse new text beginnew text endhas filed a notice in the office of the county recorder of the county in which the
real property is located or, if the property is registered land, in the office of the registrar of
titles of the county in which the real property is located, containing the legal description
of the property, a brief statement of the nature and extent of the interest claimed, and
the venue, title, and file number of the proceeding for an elective share, if any has been
commenced. The registrar of titles is authorized to accept for registration any such notice
which relates to registered land.
Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 524.2-213, is amended to read:
The right of election of a surviving spouse and the rights of deleted text beginthedeleted text end new text beginnew text endsurviving spouse
new text beginnew text endto the homestead, exempt property, and family allowance, or any of
them, may be waived, wholly or partially, after marriagenew text beginnew text end, by a written contract, agreement, or waiver signed by the party
waiving after fair disclosure. Unless it provides to the contrary, a waiver of "all rights," or
equivalent language, in the property or estate of a spouse is a waiver only of the right to
the elective share. Any waiver prior to marriage must be made pursuant to section 519.11.
Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 524.2-301, is amended to read:
(a) If a testator married new text beginnew text endafter making a
will and the spouse new text beginnew text endsurvives the testator, the surviving spouse new text beginnew text endshall receive a share of the estate of the testator equal in value to that
which the surviving spouse new text beginnew text endwould have received if the testator had
died intestate, unless:
(1) provision has been made for, or waived by, the spouse new text beginnew text endby
deleted text begin prenuptial or postnuptialdeleted text end agreement;
(2) the will discloses an intention not to make provision for the spousenew text beginnew text end; or
(3) the spouse new text beginnew text endis provided for in the will.
(b) In satisfying the share provided by this section, devises made by the willnew text beginnew text end other
than a devise to a child of the testator who was born before the testator married the
surviving spouse new text beginnew text endand who is not a child of the surviving spouse new text beginnew text endor a devise or
substitute gift under section 524.2-603 or 524.2-604 to a descendant of such a child, abate
first as otherwise provided in section 524.3-902.
Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 524.2-402, is amended to read:
(a) If there is a surviving spousenew text beginnew text end, the homestead, including a
manufactured home which is the family residence, descends free from any testamentary
or other disposition of it to which the spouse new text beginnew text endhas not consented in
writing or as provided by law, as follows:
(1) if there is no surviving descendant of decedent, to the spousenew text beginnew text end; or
(2) if there are surviving descendants of decedent, then to the spouse new text beginnew text endfor the term of the spouse's new text beginnew text endnatural life and the remainder in
equal shares to the decedent's descendants by representation.
(b) If there is no surviving spouse new text beginnew text endand the homestead has not
been disposed of by will it descends as other real estate.
(c) If the homestead passes by descent or will to the spouse new text beginnew text endor
decedent's descendants or to a trustee of a trust of which the spouse new text beginnew text endor the decedent's descendants are the sole current beneficiaries, it is exempt from all
debts which were not valid charges on it at the time of decedent's death except that the
homestead is subject to a claim filed pursuant to section 246.53 for state hospital care or
256B.15 for medical assistance benefits. If the homestead passes to a person other than a
spouse new text beginnew text endor decedent's descendants or to a trustee of a trust of which the
spouse new text beginnew text endor the decedent's descendants are the sole current beneficiaries,
it is subject to the payment of expenses of administration, funeral expenses, expenses of
last illness, taxes, and debts. The claimant may seek to enforce a lien or other charge
against a homestead so exempted by an appropriate action in the district court.
(d) For purposes of this section, except as provided in section 524.2-301, the
surviving spouse new text beginnew text endis deemed to consent to any testamentary or other
disposition of the homestead to which the spouse new text beginnew text endhas not previously
consented in writing unless the spouse new text beginnew text endfiles in the manner provided in
section 524.2-211, paragraph (f), a petition that asserts the homestead rights provided to
the spouse new text beginnew text endby this section.
Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 524.2-403, is amended to read:
(a) If there is a surviving spousenew text beginnew text end, then, in addition to the
homestead and family allowance, the surviving spouse new text beginnew text endis entitled
from the estate to:
(1) property not exceeding $10,000 in value in excess of any security interests
therein, in household furniture, furnishings, appliances, and personal effects, subject to an
award of sentimental value property under section 525.152; and
(2) one automobile, if any, without regard to value.
(b) If there is no surviving spousenew text beginnew text end, the decedent's children are
entitled jointly to the same property as provided in paragraph (a), except that where it
appears from the decedent's will a child was omitted intentionally, the child is not entitled
to the rights conferred by this section.
(c) If encumbered chattels are selected and the value in excess of security interests,
plus that of other exempt property, is less than $10,000, or if there is not $10,000 worth of
exempt property in the estate, the surviving spouse new text beginnew text endor children are
entitled to other personal property of the estate, if any, to the extent necessary to make up
the $10,000 value.
(d) Rights to exempt property and assets needed to make up a deficiency of exempt
property have priority over all claims against the estate, but the right to any assets to
make up a deficiency of exempt property abates as necessary to permit earlier payment
of the family allowance.
(e) The rights granted by this section are in addition to any benefit or share passing
to the surviving spouse new text beginnew text endor children by the decedent's will, unless
otherwise provided, by intestate succession or by way of elective share.
(f) No rights granted to a decedent's adult children under this section shall have
precedence over a claim under section 246.53, 256B.15, 256D.16, 261.04, or 524.3-805,
paragraph (a), clause (1), (2), or (3).
Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 524.2-404, is amended to read:
(a) In addition to the right to the homestead and exempt property, the decedent's
surviving spouse new text beginnew text endand minor children whom the decedent was obligated
to support, and children who were in fact being supported by the decedent, shall be allowed
a reasonable family allowance in money out of the estate for their maintenance as follows:
(1) for one year if the estate is inadequate to discharge allowed claims; or
(2) for 18 months if the estate is adequate to discharge allowed claims.
(b) The amount of the family allowance may be determined by the personal
representative in an amount not to exceed $1,500 per month.
(c) The family allowance is payable to the surviving spousenew text beginnew text end, if
living; otherwise to the children, their guardian or conservator, or persons having their
care and custody.
(d) The family allowance is exempt from and has priority over all claims.
(e) The family allowance is not chargeable against any benefit or share passing to
the surviving spouse new text beginnew text endor children by the will of the decedent unless
otherwise provided, by intestate succession or by way of elective share. The death of
any person entitled to family allowance does not terminate the right of that person to
(f) The personal representative or an interested person aggrieved by any
determination, payment, proposed payment, or failure to act under this section may
petition the court for appropriate relief, which may include a family allowance other than
that which the personal representative determined or could have determined.
Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 524.2-405, is amended to read:
(a) If the estate is otherwise sufficient, property specifically devised may not be
used to satisfy rights to exempt property. Subject to this restriction, the surviving spousenew text beginnew text end, guardians or conservators of minor children, or children who are
adults may select property of the estate as exempt property. The personal representative
may make those selections if the surviving spousenew text beginnew text end, the children, or
the guardians of the minor children are unable or fail to do so within a reasonable time
or there is no guardian of a minor child.
(b) The personal representative may execute an instrument or deed of distribution to
establish the ownership of property taken as exempt property.
(c) The personal representative or an interested person aggrieved by any selection,
determination, payment, proposed payment, or failure to act under this section may
petition the court for appropriate relief, which may include a selection or determination
under this section other than that which the surviving spousenew text beginnew text end,
guardians or conservators of minor children, children who are adults, or the personal
representative selected, could have selected, determined, or could have determined.
Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 524.2-803, is amended to read:
(a) A surviving spousenew text beginnew text end, heir or devisee who feloniously and
intentionally kills the decedent is not entitled to any benefits under the will or under this
article, including an intestate share, an elective share, an omitted spouse's new text beginnew text endor child's share, homestead, exempt property, and a family allowance, and the
estate of decedent passes as if the killer had predeceased the decedent. Property appointed
by the will of the decedent to or for the benefit of the killer passes as if the killer had
predeceased the decedent.
(b) Any joint tenant who feloniously and intentionally kills another joint tenant
thereby effects a severance of the interest of the decedent so that the share of the
decedent passes as the decedent's property and the killer has no rights by survivorship.
This provision applies to joint tenancies in real and personal property, joint accounts in
banks, savings associations, credit unions and other institutions, and any other form of
co-ownership with survivorship incidents.
(c) A named beneficiary of a bond or other contractual arrangement who feloniously
and intentionally kills the principal obligee is not entitled to any benefit under the bond or
other contractual arrangement and it becomes payable as though the killer had predeceased
(d) A named beneficiary of a life insurance policy who feloniously and intentionally
kills the person upon whose life the policy is issued is not entitled to any benefit under
the policy and the proceeds of the policy shall be paid and distributed by order of the
court as hereinafter provided. If a person who feloniously and intentionally kills a person
upon whose life a life insurance policy is issued is a beneficial owner as shareholder,
partner or beneficiary of a corporation, partnership, trust or association which is the named
beneficiary of the life insurance policy, to the extent of the killer's beneficial ownership of
the corporation, partnership, trust or association, the proceeds of the policy shall be paid
and distributed by order of the court as hereinafter provided.
Upon receipt of written notice by the insurance company at its home office that
the insured may have been intentionally and feloniously killed by one or more named
beneficiaries or that the insured may have been intentionally and feloniously killed by
one or more persons who have a beneficial ownership in a corporation, partnership, trust
or association, which is the named beneficiary of the life insurance policy, the insurance
company shall, pending court order, withhold payment of the policy proceeds to all
beneficiaries. In the event that the notice has not been received by the insurance company
before payment of the policy proceeds, the insurance company shall be fully and finally
discharged and released from any and all responsibility under the policy to the extent
that the policy proceeds have been paid.
The named beneficiary, the insurance company or any other party claiming an
interest in the policy proceeds may commence an action in the district court to compel
payment of the policy proceeds. The court may order the insurance company to pay the
policy proceeds to any person equitably entitled thereto, including the deceased insured's
spousenew text beginnew text end, children, issue, parents, creditors or estate, and may order
the insurance company to pay the proceeds of the policy to the court pending the final
determination of distribution of the proceeds by the court. The insurance company, upon
receipt of a court order, judgment or decree ordering payment of the policy proceeds,
shall pay the policy proceeds according to the terms of the order, and upon payment of
such proceeds according to the terms of the court order, shall be fully and completely
discharged and released from any and all responsibility for payment under the policy.
(e) Any other acquisition of property or interest by the killer shall be treated in
accordance with the principles of this section.
(f) A final judgment of conviction of felonious and intentional killing is conclusive
for purposes of this section. In the absence of a conviction of felonious and intentional
killing the court may determine by a preponderance of evidence whether the killing was
felonious and intentional for purposes of this section.
(g) This section does not affect the rights of any person who, before rights under
this section have been adjudicated, purchases from the killer for value and without notice
property which the killer would have acquired except for this section, but the killer is
liable for the amount of the proceeds or the value of the property. Any insurance company,
bank, or other obligor making payment according to the terms of its policy or obligation
is not liable by reason of this section unless prior to payment it has received at its home
office or principal address written notice of a claim under this section.
Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 524.2-804, is amended to read:
Except as provided by the express terms of a governing instrument,
other than a trust instrument under section 501B.90, executed prior to the dissolution
or annulment of an individual's marriagenew text beginnew text end, a court order, a contract relating to the division of deleted text beginthe maritaldeleted text end property made
between individuals before or after their marriage, dissolution, or annulmentnew text beginnew text end, or a plan document governing a qualified or nonqualified
retirement plan, the dissolution or annulment of a marriage new text beginnew text endrevokes any revocable:
(1) disposition, beneficiary designation, or appointment of property made by an
individual to the individual's former spouse new text beginnew text endin a governing instrument;
(2) provision in a governing instrument conferring a general or nongeneral power of
appointment on an individual's former spousenew text beginnew text end; and
(3) nomination in a governing instrument, nominating an individual's former spouse
new text beginnew text endto serve in any fiduciary or representative capacity, including a
personal representative, executor, trustee, conservator, agent, or guardian.
Provisions of a governing instrument are given effect
as if the former spouse new text beginnew text enddied immediately before the dissolution or
annulmentnew text beginnew text end.
Provisions revoked solely by this section
are revived by the individual's remarriage to the former spouse or by a nullification of
the dissolution or annulmentnew text beginnew text end.
No change of
circumstances other than as described in this section and in section 524.2-803 effects
(a) A payor or other
third party is not liable for having made a payment or transferred an item of property or
any other benefit to a beneficiary designated in a governing instrument affected by a
dissolution, annulment, or remarriage, or for having taken any other action in good faith
reliance on the validity of the governing instrument, before the payor or other third party
received written notice of the dissolution, annulment, or remarriage. A payor or other third
party is liable for a payment made or other action taken after the payor or other third party
received written notice of a claimed forfeiture or revocation under this section.
(b) Written notice of the dissolution, annulment, or remarriage under paragraph
(a) must be delivered to the payor's or other third party's main office or home. Upon
receipt of written notice of the dissolution, annulment, or remarriage, a payor or other
third party may pay any amount owed or transfer or deposit any item of property held
by it to or with the court having jurisdiction of the probate proceedings relating to the
decedent's estate or, if no proceedings have been commenced, to or with the court having
jurisdiction of probate proceedings relating to decedents' estates located in the county of
the decedent's residence. The court shall hold the funds or item of property and, upon its
determination under this section, shall order disbursement or transfer in accordance with
the determination. Payments, transfers, or deposits made to or with the court discharge
the payor or other third party from all claims for the value of amounts paid to or items of
property transferred to or deposited with the court.
Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 524.3-301, is amended to read:
An informal probate proceeding is an informal proceeding for the probate of
decedent's will with or without an application for informal appointment. An informal
appointment proceeding is an informal proceeding for appointment of a personal
representative in testate or intestate estates. These proceedings may be combined in a
single proceeding. Applications for informal probate or informal appointment shall
be directed to the registrar, and verified by the applicant, in accordance with section
524.1-310, to be accurate and complete to the best of applicant's knowledge and belief
as to the following information:
(1) Every application for informal probate of a will or for informal appointment of
a personal representative, other than a special or successor representative, shall contain
(i) a statement of the interest of the applicant;
(ii) the name, birthdate, and date of death of the decedent, and the county and state
of the decedent's domicile at the time of death, and the names and addresses of the spousenew text beginnew text end, children, heirs, and devisees and the ages of any who are minors so
far as known or ascertainable with reasonable diligence by the applicant;
(iii) if the decedent was not domiciled in the state at the time of death, a statement
(iv) a statement identifying and indicating the address of any personal representative
of the decedent appointed in this state or elsewhere whose appointment has not been
(v) a statement indicating whether the applicant has received a demand for notice, or
is aware of any demand for notice of any probate or appointment proceeding concerning
the decedent that may have been filed in this state or elsewhere.
(2) An application for informal probate of a will shall state the following in addition
to the statements required by (1):
(i) that the original of the decedent's last will is in the possession of the court, or
accompanies the application, or that an authenticated copy of a will probated in another
jurisdiction accompanies the application;
(ii) that the applicant, to the best of the applicant's knowledge, believes the will to
have been validly executed;
(iii) that after the exercise of reasonable diligence, the applicant is unaware of any
instrument revoking the will, and that the applicant believes that the instrument which is
the subject of the application is the decedent's last will;
(iv) that the time limit for informal probate as provided in this article has not expired
either because three years or less have passed since the decedent's death, or, if more than
three years from death have passed, that circumstances as described by section 524.3-108
authorizing tardy probate have occurred.
(3) An application for informal appointment of a personal representative to
administer an estate under a will shall describe the will by date of execution and state
the time and place of probate or the pending application or petition for probate. The
application for appointment shall adopt the statements in the application or petition for
probate and state the name, address and priority for appointment of the person whose
appointment is sought.
(4) An application for informal appointment of an administrator in intestacy shall
state in addition to the statements required by (1):
(i) that after the exercise of reasonable diligence, the applicant is unaware of any
unrevoked testamentary instrument relating to property having a situs in this state under
section 524.1-301, or, a statement why any such instrument of which the applicant may
be aware is not being probated;
(ii) the priority of the person whose appointment is sought and the names of any
other persons having a prior or equal right to the appointment under section 524.3-203.
(5) An application for appointment of a personal representative to succeed a personal
representative appointed under a different testacy status shall refer to the order in the most
recent testacy proceeding, state the name and address of the person whose appointment
is sought and of the person whose appointment will be terminated if the application is
granted, and describe the priority of the applicant.
(6) An application for appointment of a personal representative to succeed a personal
representative who has tendered a resignation as provided in section 524.3-610(c), or
whose appointment has been terminated by death or removal, shall adopt the statements in
the application or petition which led to the appointment of the person being succeeded
except as specifically changed or corrected, state the name and address of the person who
seeks appointment as successor, and describe the priority of the applicant.
Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 524.3-403, is amended to read:
(a) Upon commencement of a formal testacy proceeding, the court shall fix a time
and place of hearing. Notice, in the form prescribed by court rule, shall be given in the
manner prescribed by section 524.1-401 by the petitioner to the persons herein enumerated
and to any additional person who has filed a demand for notice under section 524.3-204.
The petitioner, having reason to believe that the will has been lost or destroyed, shall
include a statement to that effect in the notice.
Notice shall be given to the following persons: the surviving spousenew text beginnew text end, children, and other heirs of the decedent, the devisees and personal representatives
named in any will that is being or has been probated, or offered for informal or formal
probate in the county, or that is known by the petitioner to have been probated, or
offered for informal or formal probate elsewhere, and any personal representative of the
decedent whose appointment has not been terminated. Notice of the hearing, in the form
prescribed by court rule, shall also be given under the direction of the court administrator
by publication once a week for two consecutive weeks in a legal newspaper in the county
where the hearing is to be held, the last publication of which is to be at least ten days
before the time set for hearing.
If the decedent was born in a foreign country or has heirs or devisees in a foreign
country, notice of a formal testacy proceeding shall be given to the consul of that
country, if the consul resides in this state and has filed a copy of the appointment with
the secretary of state. Any notice received by the secretary of state shall be forwarded
to the appropriate consul.
(b) If it appears by the petition or otherwise that the fact of the death of the alleged
decedent may be in doubt, the court shall direct the petitioner to proceed in the manner
provided in chapter 576.
Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 524.3-703, is amended to read:
(a) A personal representative is a fiduciary who shall observe the standards of care in
dealing with the estate assets that would be observed by a prudent person dealing with
the property of another, and if the personal representative has special skills or is named
personal representative on a basis of representation of special skills or expertise, the
personal representative is under a duty to use those skills. A personal representative is
under a duty to settle and distribute the estate of the decedent in accordance with the
terms of any probated and effective will and applicable law, and as expeditiously and
efficiently as is consistent with the best interests of the estate. The personal representative
shall use the authority conferred by applicable law, the terms of the will, if any, and any
order in proceedings to which the personal representative is party for the best interests of
successors to the estate.
(b) A personal representative shall not be surcharged for acts of administration
or distribution if the conduct in question was authorized at the time. Subject to other
obligations of administration, an informally probated will is authority to administer
and distribute the estate according to its terms. An order of appointment of a personal
representative, whether issued in informal or formal proceedings, is authority to distribute
apparently intestate assets to the heirs of the decedent if, at the time of distribution, the
personal representative is not aware of a pending testacy proceeding, a proceeding to
vacate an order entered in an earlier testacy proceeding, a formal proceeding questioning
the appointment or fitness to continue, or a supervised administration proceeding. Nothing
in this section affects the duty of the personal representative to administer and distribute
the estate in accordance with the rights of claimants, the surviving spousenew text beginnew text end, any minor and dependent children and any pretermitted child of the decedent
as described elsewhere.
(c) Except as to proceedings which do not survive the death of the decedent, a
personal representative of a decedent domiciled in this state at death has the same standing
to sue and be sued in the courts of this state and the courts of any other jurisdiction as the
decedent had immediately prior to death.
Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 524.3-706, is amended to read:
Within six months after appointment, or nine months after the death of the decedent,
whichever is later, a personal representative, who is not a special administrator or a
successor to another representative who has previously discharged this duty, shall prepare
and file or mail an inventory of property owned by the decedent at the time of death,
listing it with reasonable detail, and indicating as to each listed item, its fair market value
as of the date of the decedent's death, and the type and amount of any encumbrance that
may exist with reference to any item.
The personal representative shall mail or deliver a copy of the inventory to the
surviving spousenew text beginnew text end, if there be one, to all residuary distributees, and to
interested persons or creditors who request a copy thereof. The personal representative
need not personally receive a copy as a surviving spousenew text beginnew text end or as a
Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 524.3-715, is amended to read:
Except as restricted or otherwise provided by the will or by an order in a
formal proceeding and subject to the priorities stated in section 524.3-902, a personal
representative, acting reasonably for the benefit of the interested persons, may properly:
(1) retain assets owned by the decedent pending distribution or liquidation including
those in which the representative is personally interested or which are otherwise improper
for trust investment;
(2) receive assets from fiduciaries, or other sources;
(3) perform, compromise or refuse performance of the decedent's contracts that
continue as obligations of the estate, as the personal representative may determine under
the circumstances. In performing enforceable contracts by the decedent to convey or lease
land, the personal representative, among other possible courses of action, may:
(i) execute and deliver a deed of conveyance for cash payment of all sums remaining
due or the purchaser's note for the sum remaining due secured by a mortgage or deed of
trust on the land; or
(ii) deliver a deed in escrow with directions that the proceeds, when paid in
accordance with the escrow agreement, be paid to the successors of the decedent, as
designated in the escrow agreement;
(4) satisfy written charitable pledges of the decedent irrespective of whether the
pledges constituted binding obligations of the decedent or were properly presented as
claims, if in the judgment of the personal representative the decedent would have wanted
the pledges completed under the circumstances;
(5) if funds are not needed to meet debts and expenses currently payable and are not
immediately distributable, deposit or invest liquid assets of the estate, including moneys
received from the sale of other assets, in federally insured interest-bearing accounts,
readily marketable secured loan arrangements or other prudent investments which would
be reasonable for use by trustees generally;
(6) acquire or dispose of an asset, including land in this or another state, for cash or
on credit, at public or private sale; and manage, develop, improve, exchange, partition,
change the character of, or abandon an estate asset;
(7) make ordinary or extraordinary repairs or alterations in buildings or other
structures, demolish any improvements, raze existing or erect new party walls or buildings;
(8) subdivide, develop or dedicate land to public use; make or obtain the vacation of
plats and adjust boundaries; or adjust differences in valuation on exchange or partition
by giving or receiving considerations; or dedicate easements to public use without
(9) enter for any purpose into a lease as lessor or lessee, with or without option to
purchase or renew, for a term within or extending beyond the period of administration;
(10) enter into a lease or arrangement for exploration and removal of minerals or
other natural resources or enter into a pooling or unitization agreement;
(11) abandon property when, in the opinion of the personal representative, it is
valueless, or is so encumbered, or is in condition that it is of no benefit to the estate;
(12) vote stocks or other securities in person or by general or limited proxy;
(13) pay calls, assessments, and other sums chargeable or accruing against or on
account of securities, unless barred by the provisions relating to claims;
(14) hold a security in the name of a nominee or in other form without disclosure of
the interest of the estate but the personal representative is liable for any act of the nominee
in connection with the security so held;
(15) insure the assets of the estate against damage, loss and liability and the personal
representative against liability as to third persons;
(16) borrow money with or without security to be repaid from the estate assets or
otherwise; and advance money for the protection of the estate;
(17) effect a fair and reasonable compromise with any debtor or obligor, or extend,
renew or in any manner modify the terms of any obligation owing to the estate. The
personal representative on holding a mortgage, pledge or other lien upon property of
another person may, in lieu of foreclosure, accept a conveyance or transfer of encumbered
assets from the owner thereof in satisfaction of the indebtedness secured by lien;
(18) pay in compliance with section 524.3-805, but without the presentation of
a claim, the reasonable and necessary last illness expenses of the decedent (except as
provided in section 524.3-806 (a)), reasonable funeral expenses, debts and taxes with
preference under federal or state law, and other taxes, assessments, compensation of the
personal representative and the personal representative's attorney, and all other costs and
expenses of administration although the same may be otherwise barred under section
(19) sell or exercise stock subscription or conversion rights; consent, directly
or through a committee or other agent, to the reorganization, consolidation, merger,
dissolution, or liquidation of a corporation or other business enterprise;
(20) allocate items of income or expense to either estate income or principal, as
permitted or provided by law;
(21) employ persons, including attorneys, auditors, investment advisors, or agents,
even if they are associated with the personal representative, to advise or assist the personal
representative in the performance of administrative duties; act without independent
investigation upon their recommendations; and instead of acting personally, employ one
or more agents to perform any act of administration, whether or not discretionary;
(22) prosecute or defend claims, or proceedings in any jurisdiction for the protection
of the estate and of the personal representative in the performance of duties;
(23) sell, mortgage, or lease any real or personal property of the estate or any interest
therein, including the homestead, exempt or otherwise, for cash, credit, or for part cash
and part credit, with or without security for unpaid balances, and without the consent of
any devisee or heir unless the property has been specifically devised to a devisee or heir
by decedent's will, except that the homestead of a decedent when the spouse new text beginnew text endtakes any interest therein shall not be sold, mortgaged or leased unless the written
consent of the spouse new text beginnew text endhas been obtained;
(24) continue any unincorporated business or venture in which the decedent was
engaged at the time of death (i) in the same business form for a period of not more
than four months from the date of appointment of a general personal representative if
continuation is a reasonable means of preserving the value of the business including good
will, (ii) in the same business form for any additional period of time that may be approved
by order of the court in a formal proceeding to which the persons interested in the estate
are parties; or (iii) throughout the period of administration if the business is incorporated
by the personal representative and if none of the probable distributees of the business who
are competent adults object to its incorporation and retention in the estate;
(25) incorporate any business or venture in which the decedent was engaged at
the time of death;
(26) provide for exoneration of the personal representative from personal liability in
any contract entered into on behalf of the estate;
(27) satisfy and settle claims and distribute the estate as provided in this chapter;
(28) foreclose a mortgage, lien, or pledge or collect the debts secured thereby, or
complete any such proceeding commenced by the decedent;
Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 524.3-901, is amended to read:
In the absence of administration, the heirs and devisees are entitled to the estate in
accordance with the terms of a probated will or the laws of intestate succession. Devisees
may establish title by the probated will to devised property. Persons entitled to property
pursuant to sections 524.2-402, 524.2-403, 525.14 or intestacy may establish title thereto
by proof of the decedent's ownership and death, and their relationship to the decedent.
Successors take subject to all charges incident to administration, including the claims of
creditors and allowances of surviving spouse new text beginnew text endand dependent children,
and subject to the rights of others resulting from abatement, retainer, advancement, and
Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 524.3-906, is amended to read:
(a) Unless a contrary intention is indicated by the will, the distributable assets of a
decedent's estate shall be distributed in kind to the extent possible through application of
the following provisions:
(1) A specific devisee is entitled to distribution of the thing devised, and a spouse
new text beginnew text endor child who has selected particular assets of an estate shall receive
the items selected.
(2) Any statutory allowances or devise payable in money may be satisfied by value
in kind provided
(i) the person entitled to the payment has not demanded payment in cash;
(ii) the property distributed in kind is valued at fair market value as of the date of
its distribution, and
(iii) no residuary devisee has requested that the asset in question remain a part of
the residue of the estate.
(3) For the purpose of valuation under paragraph (2) securities regularly traded on
recognized exchanges, if distributed in kind, are valued at the price for the last sale of like
securities, traded on the business day prior to distribution, or if there was no sale on
that day, at the median between amounts bid and offered at the close of that day. Assets
consisting of sums owed the decedent or the estate by solvent debtors as to which there is
no known dispute or defense are valued at the sum due with accrued interest or discounted
to the date of distribution. For assets which do not have readily ascertainable values, a
valuation as of a date not more than 30 days prior to the date of distribution, if otherwise
reasonable, controls. For purposes of facilitating distribution, the personal representative
may ascertain the value of the assets as of the time of the proposed distribution in any
reasonable way, including the employment of qualified appraisers, even if the assets may
have been previously appraised.
(4) The residuary estate shall be distributed in kind if there is no objection to the
proposed distribution and it is practicable to distribute undivided interests. In other cases,
residuary property may be converted into cash for distribution.
(b) After the probable charges against the estate are known, the personal
representative may mail or deliver a proposal for distribution to all persons who have a
right to object to the proposed distribution. The right of any distributee to object to the
proposed distribution on the basis of the kind or value of asset the distributee is to receive,
if not waived earlier in writing, terminates if the distributee fails to object in writing
received by the personal representative within 30 days after mailing or delivery of the
Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 524.3-1203, subdivision 1, is amended to
Upon petition of an interested person, the
court, with or without notice, may determine that the decedent had no estate, or that the
property has been destroyed, abandoned, lost, or rendered valueless, and that no recovery
has been had nor can be had for it, or if there is no property except property recovered for
death by wrongful act, property that is exempt from all debts and charges in the probate
court, or property that may be appropriated for the payment of the property selection as
provided in section 524.2-403, the allowances to the spouse new text beginnew text endand
children mentioned in section 524.2-404, and the expenses and claims provided in section
524.3-805, paragraph (a), clauses (1) to (6), inclusive, the personal representative by order
of the court may pay the estate in the order named. The court may then, with or without
notice, summarily determine the heirs, legatees, and devisees in its final decree or order of
distribution assigning to them their share or part of the property with which the personal
representative is charged.
Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 524.3-1203, subdivision 3, is amended to
Summary distribution may be made under this
section in any proceeding of any real, personal, or other property in kind in reimbursement
or payment of the property selection as provided in section 524.2-403, the allowances
to the spouse new text beginnew text endand children mentioned in section 524.2-404, and
the expenses and claims provided in section 524.3-805, paragraph (a), clauses (1) to
(6), inclusive, in the order named, if the court is satisfied as to the propriety of the
distribution and as to the valuation, based upon appraisal in the case of real estate other
than homestead, of the property being assigned to exhaust the assets of the estate.
Minnesota Statutes 2009 Supplement, section 524.3-1203, subdivision 5,
is amended to read:
In any summary, special, or other administration
in which it appears that the estate will not be exhausted in payment of the priority items
enumerated in subdivisions 1 to 4, the estate may nevertheless be summarily closed
without further notice, and the property assigned to the proper persons, if the gross probate
estate, exclusive of any exempt homestead as defined in section 524.2-402, and any
exempt property as defined in section 524.2-403, does not exceed the value of $100,000.
If the closing and distribution of assets is made pursuant to the terms of a will, no decree
shall issue until a hearing has been held for formal probate of the will as provided in
sections 524.3-401 to 524.3-413.
No summary closing of an estate shall be made to any distributee under this
subdivision, unless a showing is made by the personal representative or the petitioner,
that all property selected by and allowances to the spouse new text beginnew text endand
children as provided in section 524.2-403 and the expenses and claims provided in section
524.3-805 have been paid, and provided, further, that a bond shall be filed by the personal
representative or the petitioner, conditioned upon the fact that all such obligations have
been paid and that all the facts shown on the petition are true, with sufficient surety
approved by the court in an amount as may be fixed by the court to cover potential
improper distributions. If a personal representative is appointed, the representative's bond
shall be sufficient for such purpose unless an additional bond is ordered, and the sureties
on the bond shall have the same obligations and liabilities as provided for sureties on a
In the event that an improper distribution or disbursement is made in a summary
closing, in that not all of said obligations have been paid or that other facts as shown by
the personal representative or the petitioner, are not true, resulting in damage to any
party, the court may vacate its summary decree or closing order, and the petitioner or
the personal representative, together with the surety, shall be liable for damages to any
party determined to be injured thereby as herein provided. The personal representative,
petitioner, or the surety, may seek reimbursement for damages so paid or incurred from
any distributee or recipient of assets under summary decree or order, who shall be required
to make a contribution to cover such damages upon a pro rata basis or as may be equitable
to the extent of assets so received. The court is hereby granted complete and plenary
jurisdiction of any and all such proceedings and may enter such orders and judgments as
may be required to effectuate the purposes of this subdivision.
Any judgment rendered for damages or the recovery of assets in such proceedings
shall be upon petition and only after hearing held thereon on 14 days' notice of hearing and
a copy of petition served personally upon the personal representative and the surety and
upon any distributee or recipient of assets where applicable. Any action for the recovery
of money or damages under this subdivision is subject to the time and other limitations
imposed by section 524.1-304.