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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 130-H.F.No. 651 
                  An act relating to probate; clarifying and correcting 
                  provisions of the uniform probate code; expanding 
                  authority for safe deposit box searches, division and 
                  merger of trusts, and granting of power-of-attorney to 
                  spouses in certain cases; amending Minnesota Statutes 
                  1994, sections 55.10, subdivision 4; 501B.16; 501B.71, 
                  by adding a subdivision; 507.02; 519.06; 519.07; 
                  519.11, subdivision 2; 523.23, subdivision 1; 523.24, 
                  subdivision 1; 524.1-201; 524.2-508; 524.3-914; 
                  524.3-916; 524.3-1001; 524.3-1008; 524.3-1201; 
                  524.3-1202; and 524.3-1203; proposing coding for new 
                  law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 501B; and 524; 
                  repealing Minnesota Statutes 1994, sections 525.145; 
                  and 525.51.  
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 55.10, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [WILL SEARCHES, BURIAL DOCUMENTS PROCUREMENT, AND 
        INVENTORY OF CONTENTS.] (a) Upon being furnished with 
        satisfactory proof of death of a sole lessee or the last 
        surviving co-lessee of a safe deposit box, the safe deposit 
        company shall open the box and examine the contents in the 
        presence of an employee of the safe deposit company and an 
        individual who appears in person and furnishes an affidavit 
        stating that the individual believes: 
           (1) the box may contain the will or deed to a burial lot or 
        a document containing instructions for the burial of the lessee; 
        and 
           (2) the individual is an interested person as defined in 
        this section and wishes to open the box for any one or more of 
        the following purposes: 
           (i) to conduct a will search; 
           (ii) to obtain a document required to facilitate the 
        lessee's wishes regarding body, funeral, or burial arrangements; 
        or 
           (iii) to obtain an inventory of the contents of the box. 
           (b) The safe deposit company may not open the box under 
        this section if it has received a copy of letters of office of 
        the representative of the deceased lessee's estate or other 
        applicable court order.  
           (b) (c) The safe deposit company need not open the box if: 
           (1) the box has previously been opened under this 
        section for the same purpose; 
           (2) the safe deposit company has received notice of a 
        written or oral objection from any person or has reason to 
        believe that there would be an objection; or 
           (3) the lessee's key or combination is not available. 
           (c) (d) For purposes of this section, the term "interested 
        person" means any of the following: 
           (1) a person named as personal representative in a 
        purported will of the lessee; 
           (2) a person who immediately prior to the death of the 
        lessee had the right of access to the box as a deputy; 
           (3) the surviving spouse of the lessee; 
           (4) a devisee of the lessee; 
           (5) an heir of the lessee; or 
           (6) a person designated by the lessee in a writing 
        acceptable to the safe deposit company which is filed with the 
        safe deposit company before death. 
           (d) (e) For purposes of this section, the term "will" 
        includes a will or a codicil. 
           (e) (f) If the box is opened for the purpose of conducting 
        a will search, the safe deposit company shall remove any 
        document that appears to be a will and make a true and correct 
        machine copy thereof, replace the copy in the box, and then 
        deliver the original thereof to the clerk of court for the 
        county in which the lessee resided immediately before the 
        lessee's death, if known to the safe deposit company, otherwise 
        to the clerk of the court for the county in which the safe 
        deposit box is located.  The will may must be personally 
        delivered or sent by registered mail.  If the interested person 
        so requests, any deed to burial lot or document containing 
        instructions for the burial of the lessee may be copied by the 
        safe deposit box company and the copy or copies thereof 
        delivered to the interested person.  No other contents may be 
        removed pursuant to this subdivision. 
           (g) If the box is opened for the purpose of obtaining a 
        document required to facilitate the lessee's wishes regarding 
        the body, funeral, or burial arrangements, any such document may 
        be removed from the box and delivered to the interested person 
        with a true and correct machine copy retained in the box.  If 
        the safe deposit box company discovers a document that appears 
        to be a will, the safe deposit company shall act in accordance 
        with paragraph (f). 
           (h) If the box is opened for the purpose of obtaining an 
        inventory of the contents of the box, the employee of the safe 
        deposit company shall make, or cause to be made, an inventory of 
        the contents of the box, to which the employee and the 
        interested person shall attest under penalty of perjury to be 
        correct and complete.  Within ten days of opening the box 
        pursuant to this subdivision, the safe deposit company shall 
        deliver the original inventory of the contents to the clerk of 
        court for the county in which the lessee resided immediately 
        before the lessee's death, if known to the safe deposit company, 
        otherwise to the clerk of court for the county in which the safe 
        deposit box is located.  The inventory must be personally 
        delivered or sent by registered mail.  If the interested person 
        so requests, the safe deposit company shall make a true and 
        correct copy of any document in the box and deliver that copy to 
        the interested person.  If the contents of the box include a 
        document that appears to be a will, the safe deposit company 
        shall act in accordance with paragraph (f). 
           (f) (i) The safe deposit company need not ascertain the 
        truth of any statement in the affidavit required to be furnished 
        under this subdivision and when acting in reliance upon an 
        affidavit, it is discharged as if it dealt with the personal 
        representative of the lessee.  The safe deposit company is not 
        responsible for the adequacy of the description of any property 
        included in an inventory of the contents of a safe deposit box.  
        If the safe deposit company is not satisfied that the 
        requirements of this subdivision have been met, it may decline 
        to open the box.  
           (j) No contents of a box other than a will and a document 
        required to facilitate the lessee's wishes regarding body, 
        funeral, or burial arrangements may be removed pursuant to this 
        subdivision.  The entire contents of the box, however, may be 
        removed pursuant to section 524.3-1201. 
           Sec. 2.  [501B.15] [DIVISION AND MERGER OF TRUSTS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [DIVISION.] A trustee may, without the 
        approval of any court, divide a trust, before or after it is 
        funded, into two or more separate trusts if the trustee 
        determines that dividing the trust is in the best interests of 
        all persons interested in the trust and will not substantially 
        impair the accomplishment of the purposes of the trust. 
           Subd. 2.  [MERGER.] A trustee may, without the approval of 
        any court, merge two or more trusts having substantially similar 
        terms and identical beneficiaries into a single trust if the 
        trustee determines that merging the trusts is in the best 
        interests of all persons interested in the trusts and will not 
        substantially impair the accomplishment of the purposes of the 
        trusts. 
           Subd. 3.  [APPLICATION.] Subdivisions 1 and 2 apply to all 
        trusts whenever executed or created. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 501B.16, is 
        amended to read: 
           501B.16 [PETITION FOR COURT ORDER.] 
           A trustee of an express trust by will or other written 
        instrument or a person interested in the trust may petition the 
        district court for an order: 
           (1) to confirm an action taken by a trustee; 
           (2) upon filing of an account, to settle and allow the 
        account; 
           (3) to determine the persons having an interest in the 
        income or principal of the trust and the nature and extent of 
        their interests; 
           (4) to construe, interpret, or reform the terms of a trust, 
        or authorize a deviation from the terms of a trust, including a 
        proceeding involving section 501B.31; 
           (5) to approve payment of the trustee's fees, attorneys' 
        fees, accountants' fees, or any other fees to be charged against 
        the trust; 
           (6) to confirm the appointment of a trustee; 
           (7) to accept a trustee's resignation and discharge the 
        trustee from the trust; 
           (8) to require a trustee to account; 
           (9) to remove a trustee for cause; 
           (10) to appoint a successor trustee when required by the 
        terms of the trust instrument or when by reason of death, 
        resignation, removal, or other cause there is no acting trustee; 
           (11) to confirm an act performed in execution of the trust 
        by a person while there was no acting trustee; 
           (12) to subject a trust to continuing court supervision 
        under section 501B.23; 
           (13) to remove a trust from continuing court supervision 
        under section 501B.23; 
           (14) to mortgage, lease, sell, or otherwise dispose of real 
        property held by the trustee notwithstanding any contrary 
        provision of the trust instrument; 
           (15) to suspend the powers and duties of a trustee in 
        military service or war service in accordance with section 
        525.95 and to order further action authorized in that section; 
           (16) to secure compliance with the provisions of sections 
        501B.33 to 501B.45, in accordance with section 501B.41; 
           (17) to determine the validity of a disclaimer filed under 
        section 501B.86; 
           (18) to change the situs of a trust; 
           (19) to redress a breach of trust; 
           (20) to terminate a trust; or 
           (21) to divide a trust under section 501B.15; 
           (22) to merge two or more trusts under section 501B.15; or 
           (23) to instruct the trustee, beneficiaries, and any other 
        interested parties in any matter relating to the administration 
        of the trust and the discharge of the trustee's duties. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 501B.71, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [EXCEPTIONS.] Paragraphs (a) to (c) are 
        exceptions to the requirements of subdivisions 1 to 4. 
           (a) With respect to a revocable living trust, during the 
        lifetime of the grantor, all of the trustee's regular 
        compensation for services performed must be charged against 
        income, unless directed otherwise by the grantor. 
           (b) If charging a part or all of the trustee's regular 
        compensation to principal, in the judgment of the trustee, is 
        impracticable, because of the lack of sufficient cash and 
        readily marketable assets, or inadvisable, because of the nature 
        of the principal assets, the trustee may determine to pay part 
        or all of the compensation out of income.  The decision of the 
        trustee to pay a larger portion or all of the trustee's regular 
        compensation out of income is conclusive, and the income of the 
        trust is not entitled to reimbursement from principal at any 
        subsequent time or times. 
           (c) If charging a part or all of the trustee's regular 
        compensation to income, in the judgment of the trustee, is 
        impracticable, because of the lack of sufficient income, or 
        inadvisable, because of a desire to provide maximum income to 
        the beneficiary, the trustee may determine to pay part or all of 
        such compensation out of principal.  The decision of the trustee 
        to pay a larger portion or all of the trustee's regular 
        compensation out of the principal is conclusive. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 507.02, is 
        amended to read: 
           507.02 [CONVEYANCES BY SPOUSES; POWERS OF ATTORNEY.] 
           If the owner is married, no conveyance of the homestead, 
        except a mortgage for purchase money unpaid thereon, a 
        conveyance between spouses pursuant to section 500.19, 
        subdivision 4, or a severance of a joint tenancy pursuant to 
        section 500.19, subdivision 5, shall be valid without the 
        signatures of both spouses.  A spouse's signature may be made by 
        the spouse's duly appointed attorney-in-fact. 
           A husband and wife, by their joint deed, may convey the 
        real estate of either.  A spouse, by separate deed, may convey 
        any real estate owned by that spouse, except the homestead, 
        subject to the rights of the other spouse therein; and either 
        spouse may, by separate conveyance, relinquish all rights in the 
        real estate so conveyed by the other spouse.  Subject to the 
        foregoing provisions, either spouse may separately appoint an 
        attorney attorney-in-fact to sell or convey any real estate 
        owned by that spouse, or join in any conveyance made by or for 
        the other spouse.  Use of a power of attorney is subject to 
        section 518.58, subdivision 1a.  A minor spouse has legal 
        capacity to join in a conveyance of real estate owned by the 
        other spouse, so long as the minor spouse is not incapacitated 
        because of some reason other than that spouse's minor age. 
           Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 519.06, is 
        amended to read: 
           519.06 [CONTRACTS BETWEEN HUSBAND AND WIFE.] 
           No contract between husband and wife relative to the real 
        estate of either, or any interest therein, nor any power of 
        attorney or other authority from the one to the other to convey 
        real estate, or any interest therein, shall be valid, except as 
        provided in section 500.19, subdivisions 4 and 5; but, in 
        relation to all other subjects, either may be constituted the 
        agent of the other, or contract with the other.  A husband or 
        wife may appoint the other as an attorney-in-fact with respect 
        to all property of the principal, or any interest in the 
        property, whether real, personal, or mixed.  Use of a power of 
        attorney is subject to section 518.58, subdivision 1a.  In all 
        cases where the rights of creditors or purchasers in good faith 
        come in question, each spouse shall be held to have notice of 
        the contracts and debts of the other as fully as if a party 
        thereto. 
           Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 519.07, is 
        amended to read: 
           519.07 [BARRING INTEREST OF SPOUSE; RIGHTS RECIPROCAL.] 
           When a person shall be deserted by a spouse, for the space 
        of one year, or when the person would, for any cause, be 
        entitled to a divorce from the spouse under the laws of this 
        state, or when the person has a spouse that has been insane for 
        ten years immediately prior to the time of bringing the action 
        hereinafter named, and upon the hearing thereof shall be found 
        to be incurably insane, the person may bring an action in the 
        district court of the proper county, asking for a decree which 
        shall debar the spouse from any right or estate by the curtesy 
        or in dower, or otherwise, as the case may be, in or to the 
        person's lands, and which will give the person full authority to 
        alien, sell, and convey, and dispose of the lands, without the 
        interference of or signature of the spouse; and the court may 
        grant such decree when it shall appear just or expedient; and 
        thereupon the person shall have full control of the real estate, 
        with power to convey the same without the spouse joining in the 
        conveyance, and as fully as if the person were unmarried; or the 
        court may, by such decree, make such limitations on the power to 
        convey such real estate as may seem meet and proper in the 
        premises.  A person who has an interest in real estate may bring 
        an action in any county in which all or a part of the real 
        estate is located, seeking a decree that will bar any inchoate 
        interest of the person's spouse in the real estate.  The court 
        may grant such a petition if the court finds by clear and 
        convincing evidence that the person's spouse is an incapacitated 
        person as defined in section 525.54, that the person has been 
        deserted by the spouse for a period of at least one year, or 
        that other similar circumstances warrant.  The decree may grant 
        the person full control of all the person's real estate located 
        in Minnesota, with power to sell, convey, mortgage, lease, or 
        transfer title to it, subject to any limitations the court 
        considers proper in the circumstances.  The decree may not be 
        granted or must be vacated if the petitioner caused or 
        contributed to the incapacity or disappearance of the 
        petitioner's spouse.  A certified copy of such decree may be 
        recorded in the deed records in the office of the county 
        recorder or filed in the office of registrar of titles in any 
        county wherever such lands real estate, or any part thereof, may 
        be situated. 
           Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 519.11, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [WRITING; EXECUTION.] Antenuptial or postnuptial 
        contracts or settlements shall be in writing, executed in the 
        presence of two witnesses and acknowledged by the parties, 
        executing the same before any officer or person authorized to 
        administer an oath under the laws of this state.  An antenuptial 
        contract must be entered into and executed prior to the day of 
        solemnization of marriage.  A power of attorney may not be used 
        to accomplish the purposes of this section. 
           Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 523.23, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [FORM.] The following form may be used to 
        create a power of attorney, and, when used, it must be construed 
        in accordance with sections 523.23 and 523.24:  
                     STATUTORY SHORT FORM POWER OF ATTORNEY
                       MINNESOTA STATUTES, SECTION 523.23
           IMPORTANT NOTICE:  The powers granted by this document are 
        broad and sweeping.  They are defined in Minnesota Statutes, 
        section 523.24.  If you have any questions about these powers, 
        obtain competent advice.  This power of attorney may be revoked 
        by you if you wish to do so.  This power of attorney is 
        automatically terminated if it is to your spouse and proceedings 
        are commenced for dissolution, legal separation, or annulment of 
        your marriage.  This power of attorney authorizes, but does not 
        require, the attorney-in-fact to act for you.  
           PRINCIPAL (Name and Address of Person Granting the Power) 
                     ..................................... 
                     ..................................... 
                     ..................................... 
         ATTORNEYS(S)-IN-FACT             SUCCESSOR ATTORNEY(S)-IN-FACT 
        (Name and Address)               (Optional) To act if any named 
                                         attorney-in-fact dies, resigns, 
                                         or is otherwise unable to serve.
                                               (Name and Address) 
        .........................        First Successor............... 
        .........................        .............................. 
        .........................        .............................. 
        .........................        Second Successor.............. 
        .........................        .............................. 
        .........................        .............................. 
        NOTICE:  If more than one 
        attorney-in-fact is designated, 
        make a check or "x" on the 
        line in front of one of the 
        following statements: 
        ... Each attorney-in-fact      EXPIRATION DATE (Optional) 
        may independently exercise     ................... ..., .........
        the powers granted.            Use Specific Month  Day  Year Only
        ... All attorneys-in-fact 
        must jointly exercise the 
        powers granted. 
        I, (the above-named Principal) hereby appoint the above named 
        Attorney(s)-in-Fact to act as my attorney(s)-in-fact:  
           FIRST:  To act for me in any way that I could act with 
        respect to the following matters, as each of them is defined in 
        Minnesota Statutes, section 523.24:  
           (To grant to the attorney-in-fact any of the following 
        powers, make a check or "x" on the line in front of each power 
        being granted.  You may, but need not, cross out each power not 
        granted.  Failure to make a check or "x" on the line in front of 
        the power will have the effect of deleting the power unless the 
        line in front of the power of (N) is checked or x-ed.) 
        Check or "x" 
        ..... (A) real property transactions; 
                  I choose to limit this power to real property in 
                  ............ County, Minnesota, described as follows: 
                  (Use legal description.  Do not use street address.) 
                  (NOTE:  A person may not grant powers relating to real
                  property transactions in Minnesota to his
                  or her spouse.)
                  ......................................................
                  ......................................................
                  ......................................................
                  ......................................................
                  (If more space is needed, continue on the back or on an
                  attachment.) 
        ..... (B) tangible personal property transactions; 
        ..... (C) bond, share, and commodity transactions; 
        ..... (D) banking transactions; 
        ..... (E) business operating transactions; 
        ..... (F) insurance transactions; 
        ..... (G) beneficiary transactions; 
        ..... (H) gift transactions; 
        ..... (I) fiduciary transactions; 
        ..... (J) claims and litigation; 
        ..... (K) family maintenance; 
        ..... (L) benefits from military service; 
        ..... (M) records, reports, and statements; 
        ..... (N) all of the powers listed in (A) through (M) above
                  and all other matters. 
           SECOND:  (You must indicate below whether or not this power 
        of attorney will be effective if you become incapacitated or 
        incompetent.  Make a check or "x" on the line in front of the 
        statement that expresses your intent.)  
        ... This power of attorney shall continue to be effective
            if I become incapacitated or incompetent.  
        ... This power of attorney shall not be effective if I
            become incapacitated or incompetent.  
           THIRD:  (You must indicate below whether or not this power 
        of attorney authorizes the attorney-in-fact to transfer your 
        property to the attorney-in-fact.  Make a check or "x" on the 
        line in front of the statement that expresses your intent.)  
        ... This power of attorney authorizes the attorney-in-fact to 
            transfer my property to the attorney-in-fact.  
        ... This power of attorney does not authorize the 
            attorney-in-fact to transfer my property to the 
            attorney-in-fact.  
           FOURTH:  (You may indicate below whether or not the 
        attorney-in-fact is required to make an accounting.  Make a 
        check or "x" on the line in front of the statement that 
        expresses your intent.)  
        ... My attorney-in-fact need not render an accounting unless I 
            request it or the accounting is otherwise required by 
            Minnesota Statutes, section 523.21.  
        ... My attorney-in-fact must render ............................ 
                                            (Monthly, Quarterly, Annual) 
            accountings to me or ....................................... 
                                           (Name and Address) 
            during my lifetime, and a final accounting to the personal 
            representative of my estate, if any is appointed, after my 
            death.  
        In Witness Whereof I have hereunto signed my name this .... day 
        of .........., 19....  
                                          .............................. 
                                             (Signature of Principal) 
             (Acknowledgment of Principal) 
        STATE OF MINNESOTA  )
                            )ss.
        COUNTY OF           )
             The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this 
        .... day of .........., 19..., by ..........................  
                                           (Insert Name of Principal) 
                                          .............................. 
                                            (Signature of Notary Public 
                                                or other Official) 
              This instrument was             Specimen Signature of 
                 drafted by:                   Attorney(s)-in-Fact 
                                             (Notarization not required) 
        .............................     .............................. 
        .............................     .............................. 
        .............................     .............................. 
                                          .............................. 
           Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 523.24, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [REAL PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS.] In a 
        statutory short form power of attorney, the language conferring 
        general authority with respect to real estate transactions, 
        means that the principal authorizes the attorney-in-fact:  
           (1) to accept as a gift, or as security for a loan, to 
        reject, to demand, to buy, to lease, to receive, or otherwise to 
        acquire either ownership or possession of any estate or interest 
        in real property; 
           (2) to sell, exchange, convey either with or without 
        covenants, quitclaim, release, surrender, mortgage, encumber, 
        partition or consent the partitioning, plat or consent platting, 
        grant options concerning, lease or sublet, or otherwise to 
        dispose of, any estate or interest in real property; 
           (3) to release in whole or in part, assign the whole or a 
        part of, satisfy in whole or in part, and enforce by action, 
        proceeding or otherwise, any mortgage, encumbrance, lien, or 
        other claim to real property which exists, or is claimed to 
        exist, in favor of the principal; 
           (4) to do any act of management or of conservation with 
        respect to any estate or interest in real property owned, or 
        claimed to be owned, by the principal, including by way of 
        illustration, but not of restriction, power to insure against 
        any casualty, liability, or loss, to obtain or regain possession 
        or protect such estate or interest by action, proceeding or 
        otherwise, to pay, compromise or contest taxes or assessments, 
        to apply for and receive refunds in connection therewith, to 
        purchase supplies, hire assistance or labor, and make repairs or 
        alterations in the structures or lands; 
           (5) to use in any way, develop, modify, alter, replace, 
        remove, erect, or install structures or other improvements upon 
        any real property in which the principal has, or claims to have, 
        any estate or interest; 
           (6) to demand, receive, obtain by action, proceeding, or 
        otherwise, any money, or other thing of value to which the 
        principal is, or may become, or may claim to be entitled as the 
        proceeds of an interest in real property or of one or more of 
        the transactions enumerated in this subdivision, to conserve, 
        invest, disburse, or utilize anything so received for purposes 
        enumerated in this subdivision, and to reimburse the 
        attorney-in-fact for any expenditures properly made by the 
        attorney-in-fact in the execution of the powers conferred on the 
        attorney-in-fact by the statutory short form power of attorney; 
           (7) to participate in any reorganization with respect to 
        real property and receive and hold any shares of stock or 
        instrument of similar character received in accordance with a 
        plan of reorganization, and to act with respect to the shares, 
        including, by way of illustration but not of restriction, power 
        to sell or otherwise to dispose of the shares, or any of them, 
        to exercise or sell any option, conversion or similar right with 
        respect to the shares, and to vote on the shares in person or by 
        the granting of a proxy; 
           (8) to agree and contract, in any manner, and with any 
        person and on any terms, which the attorney-in-fact may select, 
        for the accomplishment of any of the purposes enumerated in this 
        subdivision, and to perform, rescind, reform, release, or modify 
        such an agreement or contract or any other similar agreement or 
        contract made by or on behalf of the principal; 
           (9) to execute, acknowledge, seal, and deliver any deed, 
        revocation, mortgage, lease, notice, check, or other instrument 
        which the attorney-in-fact deems useful for the accomplishment 
        of any of the purposes enumerated in this subdivision; 
           (10) to prosecute, defend, submit to arbitration, settle, 
        and propose or accept a compromise with respect to, any claim 
        existing in favor of, or against, the principal based on or 
        involving any real estate transaction or to intervene in any 
        action or proceeding relating to the claim; 
           (11) to hire, discharge, and compensate any attorney, 
        accountant, expert witness, or other assistant or assistants 
        when the attorney-in-fact deems that action to be desirable for 
        the proper execution of any of the powers described in this 
        subdivision, and for the keeping of needed records; and 
           (12) in general, and in addition to all the specific acts 
        in this subdivision, to do any other act with respect to any 
        estate or interest in real property.  
           All powers described in this subdivision are exercisable 
        equally with respect to any estate or interest in real property 
        owned by the principal at the giving of the power of attorney or 
        acquired after that time, and whether located in the state of 
        Minnesota or elsewhere except when a legal description of 
        certain real property is included in the statutory short form 
        power of attorney, in which case the powers described in this 
        subdivision are exercisable only with respect to the estate or 
        interest owned by the principal in the property described in the 
        form.  In the case of real property located in the state of 
        Minnesota, the powers described in this subdivision are limited 
        by the provisions of section 519.06. 
           Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 524.1-201, is 
        amended to read: 
           524.1-201 [GENERAL DEFINITIONS.] 
           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 probate court or county 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 by will. 
           (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. 
           (12) "Disability" means cause for a protective order as 
        described by section 525.54. 
           (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 
        thereto 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. 
           (14) "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 jurisdiction. 
           (18) "Formal proceedings" means those conducted before a 
        judge with notice to interested persons. 
           (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 
        spouse, who are entitled under the statutes of intestate 
        succession to the property of a decedent. 
           (22) "Incapacitated person" is as described in section 
        525.54, 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, creditors, 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 entity. 
           (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 special administrator. 
           (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 525.54, 
        subdivision 1. 
           (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. 
           (45) "Special administrator" means a personal 
        representative as described by sections 524.3-614 to 524.3-618. 
           (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 
        representative. 
           (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. 
           (49) "Supervised administration" refers to the proceedings 
        described in sections 524.3-501 to 524.3-505. 
           (51) "Testacy proceeding" means a proceeding to establish a 
        will or determine intestacy. 
           (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 149.11 to 149.14, 318.01 to 318.06, 527.01 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 525.54, subdivision 
        1. 
           (56) "Will" includes codicil and any testamentary 
        instrument which merely appoints an executor or revokes or 
        revises another will. 
           Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 524.2-508, is 
        amended to read: 
           524.2-508 [REVOCATION BY CHANGES OF CIRCUMSTANCES.] 
           Except as provided in sections 524.2-802 and 524.2-803 and 
        524.2-804, a change of circumstances does not revoke a will or 
        any part of it. 
           Sec. 13.  [524.2-804] [REVOCATION BY DISSOLUTION OF 
        MARRIAGE; NO REVOCATION BY OTHER CHANGES OF CIRCUMSTANCES.] 
           If after executing a will the testator's marriage is 
        dissolved or annulled, the dissolution or annulment revokes any 
        disposition or appointment of property made by the will to the 
        former spouse, any provision conferring a general or special 
        power of appointment on the former spouse, and any nomination of 
        the former spouse as executor, trustee, conservator, or 
        guardian, unless the will expressly provides otherwise.  
        Property prevented from passing to a former spouse because of 
        revocation by dissolution of marriage or annulment passes as if 
        the former spouse failed to survive the decedent, and other 
        provisions conferring some power or office on the former spouse 
        are interpreted as if the spouse failed to survive the 
        decedent.  If provisions are revoked solely by this section, 
        they are revived by testator's remarriage to the former spouse.  
        For purposes of chapters 524 and 525, dissolution of marriage 
        includes divorce.  A decree of separation which does not 
        terminate the status of husband and wife is not a dissolution of 
        marriage for purposes of this section.  No change of 
        circumstances other than as described in this section revokes a 
        will. 
           Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 524.3-914, is 
        amended to read: 
           524.3-914 [UNCLAIMED ASSETS.] 
           If any asset of the estate has not been distributed because 
        the person entitled thereto cannot be found or refuses to accept 
        the same, or for any other good and sufficient reason the same 
        has not been paid over, the court may direct the personal 
        representative to deposit the same with the county treasurer, 
        taking duplicate receipts therefor, one of which the personal 
        representative shall file with the county auditor and the other 
        in the court.  If the money on hand exceeds the sum of 
        $2,000 $5,000, the court may direct the personal representative 
        to purchase with the money bearer bonds of the United States 
        government or of the state of Minnesota, or any of its political 
        subdivisions, which bonds shall be deposited with the county 
        treasurer, taking duplicate receipts therefor, one of which the 
        personal representative shall file with the county auditor and 
        the other in the court county treasurer to invest the funds, and 
        the county treasurer shall collect the interest on these bonds 
        investments as it becomes due, and the money so collected or 
        deposited shall be credited to the county revenue fund.  Upon 
        application to the court within 21 years after such deposit, and 
        upon notice to the county attorney and county treasurer, the 
        court may direct the county auditor to issue to the person 
        entitled thereto a the county auditor's warrant for the amount 
        of the money so on deposit including the interest collected on 
        bonds and, in the case of bonds, the county auditor shall issue 
        to the person entitled thereto an order upon the county 
        treasurer to deliver the bonds.  No interest shall be allowed or 
        paid thereon, except as herein provided, and if not claimed 
        within such time no recovery thereof shall be had.  The county 
        treasurer, with the approval of the court, may make necessary 
        sales, exchanges, substitutions, and transfers of bonds 
        deposited, as aforesaid, investments and may present the same 
        for redemption and invest the proceeds in other bonds of like 
        character.  
           Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 524.3-916, is 
        amended to read: 
           524.3-916 [APPORTIONMENT OF ESTATE TAXES AND 
        GENERATION-SKIPPING TAX.] 
           (a) For purposes of this section:  
           (1) "estate" means the gross estate of a decedent as 
        determined for the purpose of federal estate tax and or the 
        estate tax payable to this state; 
           (2) "decedent's generation-skipping transfers" means all 
        generation-skipping transfers as determined for purposes of the 
        federal generation-skipping tax which occur by reason of the 
        decedent's death which relate to property which is included in 
        the decedent's estate; 
           (3) "person" means any individual, partnership, 
        association, joint stock company, corporation, limited liability 
        company, government, political subdivision, governmental agency, 
        or local governmental agency; 
           (3) (4) "person interested in the estate" means any person 
        entitled to receive, or who has received, from a decedent or by 
        reason of the death of a decedent any property or interest 
        therein included in the decedent's estate.  It includes a 
        personal representative, guardian, conservator, and trustee, and 
        custodian; 
           (4) (5) "state" means any state, territory, or possession 
        of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the 
        Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; 
           (5) (6) "estate tax" means the federal estate tax and the 
        state estate tax determined by the commissioner of revenue 
        pursuant to chapter 291 and interest and penalties imposed in 
        addition to the tax; 
           (7) "decedent's generation-skipping tax" means the federal 
        generation-skipping tax imposed on the decedent's 
        generation-skipping transfers and interest and penalties imposed 
        in addition to the tax; 
           (6) (8) "fiduciary" means personal representative or 
        trustee.  
           (b) Unless the will or other written governing instrument 
        otherwise provides,: 
           (1) the estate tax shall be apportioned among all persons 
        interested in the estate.  The apportionment is to be made in 
        the proportion that the value of the interest of each person 
        interested in the estate bears to the total value of the 
        interests of all persons interested in the estate.  The values 
        used in determining the tax are to be used for that purpose.; 
        and 
           (2) the decedent's generation-skipping tax shall be 
        apportioned as provided by federal law.  To the extent not 
        provided by federal law, the decedent's generation-skipping tax 
        shall be apportioned among all persons receiving the decedent's 
        generation-skipping transfers whose tax apportionment is not 
        provided by federal law in the proportion that the value of the 
        transfer to each person bears to the total value of all such 
        transfers. 
           If the decedent's will or other written instrument directs 
        a method of apportionment of estate tax or of the decedent's 
        generation-skipping tax different from the method described in 
        this code, the method described in the will or other written 
        instrument controls.  
           (c)(1) The court in which venue lies for the administration 
        of the estate of a decedent, on petition for the purpose may 
        determine the apportionment of the estate tax or of the 
        decedent's generation-skipping tax.  
           (2) If the court finds that it is inequitable to apportion 
        interest and penalties in the manner provided in subsection (b), 
        because of special circumstances, it may direct apportionment 
        thereof in the manner it finds equitable.  
           (3) If the court finds that the assessment of penalties and 
        interest assessed in relation to the estate tax or the 
        decedent's generation-skipping tax is due to delay caused by the 
        negligence of the fiduciary, the court may charge the fiduciary 
        with the amount of the assessed penalties and interest.  
           (4) In any action to recover from any person interested in 
        the estate the amount of the estate tax or of the decedent's 
        generation-skipping tax apportioned to the person in accordance 
        with this code the determination of the court in respect thereto 
        shall be prima facie correct.  
           (d)(1) The personal representative or other person in 
        possession of the property of the decedent required to pay the 
        estate tax or the decedent's generation-skipping tax may 
        withhold from any property distributable to any person 
        interested in the estate, upon its distribution, the amount of 
        tax any taxes attributable to the person's interest.  If the 
        property in possession of the personal representative or other 
        person required to pay the tax any taxes and distributable to 
        any person interested in the estate is insufficient to satisfy 
        the proportionate amount of the tax taxes determined to be due 
        from the person, the personal representative or other person 
        required to pay the tax any taxes may recover the deficiency 
        from the person interested in the estate.  If the property is 
        not in the possession of the personal representative or the 
        other person required to pay the tax any taxes, the personal 
        representative or the other person required to pay the tax any 
        taxes may recover from any person interested in the estate the 
        amount of the tax any taxes apportioned to the person in 
        accordance with Laws 1975, Chapter 347 this section.  
           (2) If property held by the personal representative or 
        other person in possession of the property of the decedent 
        required to pay the estate tax or the decedent's 
        generation-skipping tax is distributed prior to final 
        apportionment of the estate tax or the decedent's 
        generation-skipping tax, the distributee shall provide a bond or 
        other security for the apportionment liability in the form and 
        amount prescribed by the personal representative or other 
        person, as the case may be.  
           (e)(1) In making an apportionment, allowances shall be made 
        for any exemptions granted, any classification made of persons 
        interested in the estate and for any deductions and credits 
        allowed by the law imposing the tax.  
           (2) Any exemption or deduction allowed by reason of the 
        relationship of any person to the decedent or, by reason of the 
        purposes of the gift, or by allocation to the gift (either by 
        election by the fiduciary or by operation of federal law), 
        inures to the benefit of the person bearing such relationship or 
        receiving the gift; but if an interest is subject to a prior 
        present interest which is not allowable as a deduction, the tax 
        apportionable against the present interest shall be paid from 
        principal.  
           (3) Any deduction for property previously taxed and any 
        credit for gift taxes or death taxes of a foreign country paid 
        by the decedent or the decedent's estate inures to the 
        proportionate benefit of all persons liable to apportionment.  
           (4) Any credit for inheritance, succession or estate taxes 
        or taxes in the nature thereof applicable to property or 
        interests includable in the estate, inures to the benefit of the 
        persons or interests chargeable with the payment thereof to the 
        extent proportionately that the credit reduces the tax.  
           (5) To the extent that property passing to or in trust for 
        a surviving spouse or any charitable, public or similar gift or 
        devisee devise is not an allowable deduction for purposes of the 
        estate tax solely by reason of an estate tax imposed upon and 
        deductible from the property, the property is not included in 
        the computation provided for in subsection (b)(1) hereof, and to 
        that extent no apportionment is made against the property.  The 
        sentence immediately preceding does not apply to any case if the 
        result would be to deprive the estate of a deduction otherwise 
        allowable under section 2053(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 
        1954 1986, as amended, of the United States, relating to 
        deduction for state death taxes on transfers for public, 
        charitable, or religious uses.  
           (f) No interest in income and no estate for years or for 
        life or other temporary interest in any property or fund is 
        subject to apportionment as between the temporary interest and 
        the remainder.  The estate tax on the temporary interest and the 
        estate tax, if any, on the remainder is chargeable against the 
        corpus of the property or funds subject to the temporary 
        interest and remainder.  The decedent's generation-skipping tax 
        is chargeable against the property which constitutes the 
        decedent's generation-skipping transfer. 
           (g) Neither the personal representative nor other person 
        required to pay the tax is under any duty to institute any 
        action to recover from any person interested in the estate the 
        amount of the estate tax or of the decedent's 
        generation-skipping tax apportioned to the person until the 
        expiration of the three months next following final 
        determination of the tax.  A personal representative or other 
        person required to pay the estate tax or decedent's 
        generation-skipping tax who institutes the action within a 
        reasonable time after the three month period final determination 
        of the tax is not subject to any liability or surcharge because 
        any portion of the tax apportioned to any person interested in 
        the estate was collectible at a time following the death of the 
        decedent but thereafter became uncollectible.  If the personal 
        representative or other person required to pay the estate tax or 
        decedent's generation-skipping tax cannot collect from any 
        person interested in the estate the amount of the tax 
        apportioned to the person, the amount not recoverable shall be 
        equitably apportioned among the other persons interested in the 
        estate who are subject to apportionment of the tax involved.  
           (h) A personal representative acting in another state or a 
        person required to pay the estate tax or decedent's 
        generation-skipping tax domiciled in another state may institute 
        an action in the courts of this state and may recover a 
        proportionate amount of the federal estate tax, of an estate tax 
        payable to another state or of a death duty due by a decedent's 
        estate to another state, or of the decedent's 
        generation-skipping tax, from a person interested in the estate 
        who is either domiciled in this state or who owns property in 
        this state subject to attachment or execution.  For the purposes 
        of the action the determination of apportionment by the court 
        having jurisdiction of the administration of the decedent's 
        estate in the other state is prima facie correct.  
           Sec. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 524.3-1001, is 
        amended to read: 
           524.3-1001 [FORMAL PROCEEDINGS TERMINATING ADMINISTRATION; 
        TESTATE OR INTESTATE; ORDER OF DISTRIBUTION, DECREE, AND GENERAL 
        PROTECTION.] 
           (a)(1) A personal representative or any interested person 
        may petition for an order of complete settlement of the estate.  
        The personal representative may petition at any time, and any 
        other interested person may petition after one year from the 
        appointment of the original personal representative except that 
        no petition under this section may be entertained until the time 
        for presenting claims which arose prior to the death of the 
        decedent has expired.  The petition may request the court to 
        determine testacy, if not previously determined, to consider the 
        final account or compel or approve an accounting and 
        distribution, to construe any will or determine heirs and 
        adjudicate the final settlement and distribution of the estate.  
        After notice to all interested persons and hearing the court may 
        enter an order or orders, on appropriate conditions, determining 
        the persons entitled to distribution of the estate, and, as 
        circumstances require, approving settlement and directing or 
        approving distribution of the estate and discharging the 
        personal representative from further claim or demand of any 
        interested person. 
           (2) In such petition for complete settlement of the estate, 
        the petitioner may apply for a decree.  Upon the hearing, if in 
        the best interests of interested persons, the court may issue 
        its decree which shall determine the persons entitled to the 
        estate and assign the same to them in lieu of ordering the 
        assignment by the personal representative.  The decree shall 
        name the heirs and distributees, state their relationship to the 
        decedent, describe the property, and state the proportions or 
        part thereof to which each is entitled.  In the estate of a 
        testate decedent, no heirs shall be named in the decree unless 
        all heirs be ascertained. 
           (3) In solvent estates, the hearing may be waived by 
        written consent to the proposed account and decree of 
        distribution or order of distribution by all heirs or 
        distributees, and the court may then enter its order allowing 
        the account and issue its decree or order of distribution. 
           (4) Where a decree or order for distribution is issued, the 
        personal representative shall not be discharged until all 
        property is paid or transferred to the persons entitled thereto 
        to the property, and the personal representative has otherwise 
        fully discharged the trust duties of a personal representative.  
        If an order assessing estate tax or request for documents is 
        filed with the court by the commissioner of revenue, no 
        discharge shall be issued until the assessment is paid or the 
        request is complied with.  If no order assessing estate tax or 
        request for documents is filed, the court shall have the power 
        to settle and distribute the estate and discharge the personal 
        representative without regard to tax obligations. 
           (b) If one or more heirs or devisees were omitted as 
        parties in, or were not given notice of, a previous formal 
        testacy proceeding, the court, on proper petition for an order 
        of complete settlement of the estate under this section, and 
        after notice to the omitted or unnotified persons and other 
        interested parties determined to be interested on the assumption 
        that the previous order concerning testacy is conclusive as to 
        those given notice of the earlier proceeding, may determine 
        testacy as it affects the omitted persons and confirm or alter 
        the previous order of testacy as it affects all interested 
        persons as appropriate in the light of the new proofs.  In the 
        absence of objection by an omitted or unnotified person, 
        evidence received in the original testacy proceeding shall 
        constitute prima facie proof of due execution of any will 
        previously admitted to probate, or of the fact that the decedent 
        left no valid will if the prior proceedings determined this fact.
           Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 524.3-1008, is 
        amended to read: 
           524.3-1008 [SUBSEQUENT ADMINISTRATION.] 
           If property of the estate is omitted or discovered after an 
        estate has been settled and the personal representative 
        discharged or after one year after a closing statement has been 
        filed, the court upon petition or the registrar upon application 
        of any interested person and upon notice as it directs may 
        appoint the same or a successor personal representative to 
        administer the subsequently discovered estate.  If a new 
        appointment is made, unless the court or registrar orders 
        otherwise, the provisions of this chapter apply as appropriate; 
        but no claim previously barred may be asserted in the subsequent 
        administration.  
           Sec. 18.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 524.3-1201, is 
        amended to read: 
           524.3-1201 [COLLECTION OF PERSONAL PROPERTY BY AFFIDAVIT.] 
           (a) Thirty days after the death of a decedent, (i) any 
        person indebted to the decedent or, (ii) any person having 
        possession of tangible personal property or an instrument 
        evidencing a debt, obligation, stock or chose in action 
        belonging to the decedent, or (iii) any safe deposit company, as 
        defined in section 55.01, controlling the right of access to 
        decedent's safe deposit box shall make payment of the 
        indebtedness or deliver the tangible personal property or an 
        instrument evidencing a debt, obligation, stock or chose in 
        action or deliver the entire contents of the safe deposit box to 
        a person claiming to be the successor of the decedent, or a 
        county agency with a claim authorized by section 256B.15, upon 
        being presented a certified death certificate of the decedent 
        and an affidavit, in duplicate, made by or on behalf of the 
        successor stating that: 
           (1) the value of the entire probate estate, wherever 
        located, including specifically any contents of a safe deposit 
        box, less liens and encumbrances, does not 
        exceed $10,000 $20,000; 
           (2) 30 days have elapsed since the death of the 
        decedent or, in the event the property to be delivered is the 
        contents of a safe deposit box, 30 days have elapsed since the 
        filing of an inventory of the contents of the box pursuant to 
        section 55.10, paragraph (h); 
           (3) no application or petition for the appointment of a 
        personal representative is pending or has been granted in any 
        jurisdiction; and 
           (4) the claiming successor is entitled to payment or 
        delivery of the property. 
           (b) A transfer agent of any security shall change the 
        registered ownership on the books of a corporation from the 
        decedent to the successor or successors upon the presentation of 
        an affidavit as provided in subsection (a). 
           (c) The claiming successor or county agency shall disburse 
        the proceeds collected under this section to any person with a 
        superior claim under section 524.2-403 or 524.3-805 or 525.15. 
           (d) A motor vehicle registrar shall issue a new certificate 
        of title in the name of the successor upon the presentation of 
        an affidavit as provided in subsection (a). 
           (e) The person controlling access to decedent's safe 
        deposit box need not open the box or deliver the contents of the 
        box if: 
           (1) the person has received notice of a written or oral 
        objection from any person or has reason to believe that there 
        would be an objection; or 
           (2) the lessee's key or combination is not available. 
           Sec. 19.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 524.3-1202, is 
        amended to read: 
           524.3-1202 [EFFECT OF AFFIDAVIT.] 
           The person paying, delivering, transferring, or issuing 
        personal property or the evidence thereof pursuant to an 
        affidavit meeting the requirements of section 524.3-1201 is 
        discharged and released to the same extent as if the person 
        dealt with a personal representative of the decedent.  The 
        person is not required to see to the application of the personal 
        property or evidence thereof or to inquire into the truth of any 
        statement in the affidavit.  In particular, the person 
        delivering the contents of a safe deposit box is not required to 
        inquire into the value of the contents of the box and is 
        authorized to rely solely upon the representation in the 
        affidavit concerning the value of the entire probate estate.  If 
        any person to whom an affidavit is delivered refuses to pay, 
        deliver, transfer, or issue any personal property or evidence 
        thereof, it may be recovered or its payment, delivery, transfer, 
        or issuance compelled upon proof of their right in a proceeding 
        brought for the purpose by or on behalf of the persons entitled 
        thereto.  Any person to whom payment, delivery, transfer or 
        issuance is made is answerable and accountable therefor to any 
        personal representative of the estate or to any other person 
        having a superior right. 
           Sec. 20.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 524.3-1203, is 
        amended to read: 
           524.3-1203 [SMALL ESTATES; SUMMARY ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE 
        PROCEEDINGS.] 
           If it appears from the inventory and appraisal that the 
        entire estate, less liens and encumbrances, does not exceed an 
        exempt homestead as provided for in section 525.145, the 
        allowances provided for in section 525.15, costs and expenses of 
        administration, reasonable funeral expenses, and reasonable and 
        necessary medical and hospital expenses of the last illness of 
        the decedent, the personal representative, without giving 
        further notice to creditors, may immediately disburse and 
        distribute the estate to the persons entitled thereto and file a 
        closing statement as provided in section 524.3-1204.  
           Subdivision 1.  [PETITION AND PAYMENT.] 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 and 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.  
           Subd. 2.  [FINAL DECREE OR ORDER.] If upon hearing of a 
        petition for summary assignment or distribution, for special 
        administration, or for any administration, or for the probate of 
        a will, the court determines that there is no need for the 
        appointment of a representative and that the administration 
        should be closed summarily for the reason that all of the 
        property in the estate is exempt from all debts and charges in 
        the probate court, a final decree or order of distribution may 
        be entered, with or without notice, assigning that property to 
        the persons entitled to it under the terms of the will, or if 
        there is no will, under the law of intestate succession in force 
        at the time of the decedent's death.  
           Subd. 3.  [SUMMARY DISTRIBUTION.] 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 and 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.  
           Subd. 4.  [PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE.] Summary proceedings 
        may be had with or without the appointment of a personal 
        representative.  In all summary proceedings in which no personal 
        representative is appointed, the court may require the 
        petitioner to file a corporate surety bond in an amount fixed 
        and approved by the court.  The condition of the bond must be 
        that the petitioner has made a full, true, and correct 
        disclosure of all the facts related in the petition and will 
        perform the terms of the decree or order of distribution issued 
        pursuant to the petition.  Any interested person suffering 
        damages as a result of misrepresentation or negligence of the 
        petitioner in stating facts in the petition pursuant to which an 
        improper decree or order of distribution is issued, or the terms 
        of the decree or order of distribution are not performed by the 
        petitioner as required, has a cause of action against the 
        petitioner and the surety to recover those damages in the court 
        in which the proceeding took place.  That court has jurisdiction 
        of the cause of action. 
           Subd. 5.  [EXHAUSTION OF ESTATE.] 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, does not 
        exceed the value of $30,000.  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 and 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 distribution bond.  
           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 525.02.  
           Sec. 21.  [REPEALER.] 
           Minnesota Statutes 1994, sections 525.145 and 525.51, are 
        repealed. 
           Sec. 22.  [EFFECTIVE DATE; APPLICATION.] 
           (a) This act is effective January 1, 1996. 
           (b) Sections 1, 14, 17, 18, 19, and 20 apply to all 
        decedents' estates, whenever the decedent died. 
           (c) Section 4 applies to all trusts, whenever executed or 
        created. 
           (d) Sections 6 and 10 apply to powers of attorney executed 
        on or after the effective date. 
           (e) Sections 12, 13, and 15 apply to the rights of 
        successors of decedents dying on or after the effective date and 
        to any wills of decedents dying on or after the effective date. 
           Presented to the governor May 4, 1995 
           Signed by the governor May 5, 1995, 9:07 a.m.