State of Minnesota
More about
Attorney General
Lori Swanson


Minnesota Attorney General's Office

1400 Bremer Tower
445 Minnesota Street
St. Paul, MN 55101

(651) 296-3353
(800) 657-3787

M - F 8 am - 5 pm

TTY:(651) 297-7206
TTY:(800) 366-4812

Probate and Planning

Seniors

Probate and Planning (PDF)

Table of Contents:

Introduction

Wills

  • What is a will?
  • Does everyone need a will?
  • What rules apply to wills?
  • What is a self-proved will?
  • What is in a will?
  • Can I leave my spouse or my children out of my will?
  • What is a personal representative?
  • What is a guardian?
  • How do I prepare a will?
  • How do I change or update a will?
  • Where do I keep a will?

Probate

  • What is probate?
  • When is probate necessary?
  • What items are not subject to probate?
  • How do I probate an estate?
  • How will the estate be distributed to heirs?
  • What taxes must be paid?

Living Trusts

  • What is a trust?
  • What are the basic types of trusts?
  • What are the pros and cons of a revocable living trust?
  • How do I establish a trust?
  • What is the role of the trustee?

Conservatorship/Guardianship

  • What is guardianship and conservatorship?
  • What is the difference between a conservatorship and a guardianship?
  • What are the duties of a guardian?
  • What are the duties of a conservator?
  • Does a guardian or conservator have absolute power and authority?
  • Why might I need a conservator or guardian?
  • How do I establish a conservatorship?
  • What are the advantages of a conservatorship?
  • What are the disadvantages of a conservatorship?
  • What are the alternatives to a conservatorship or guardianship?

Power Of Attorney

  • What is a power of attorney?
  • What is a durable power of attorney?
  • When should I use a power of attorney?
  • How much power does a power of attorney have?
  • How do I create a power of attorney?
  • What happens if I don't have a durable power of attorney for finances?
  • When does a power of attorney end?

Health Care Directive

  • What is a health care directive?
  • What might I need a health care directive for?
  • How do I prepare a health care directive?
  • What should I include in my health care directive?
  • What are the limits on my health care directive? 
  • How do I change my health care directive?

Planning A Funeral

  • How should I plan my funeral?
  • How should I pay for my funeral?
  • What safeguards exist for consumers who pay in advance?

Sample Forms

Glossary Of Terms

Referral Guide

Additional Consumer Information