Probate 101: Summary Proceedings

Posted by Gregory Singleton | Jan 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

A Summary Proceeding is a probate proceeding used for administering small estates. Basically, they are allowed when the value of the estate is less than $150,000 after payment of all expenses and deducting the homestead, exempt property, and family allowances. (See Minn. Stat §§ 524.2-404 through 405 and Minn. Stat. § 524.3-805). Additionally, summary proceedings are allowed when the decedent actually had no probate assets. Also, they are allowed when probate assets were destroyed, lost, abandoned, or rendered valueless, and the loss is not recoverable.

The Proceedings

Just like any probate, a Summary Proceeding starts with the filing of a petition. It is important to note that Summary Proceedings are always supervised by the Court, so they are always “formal”. Unlike other probate proceedings, there need not be a personal representative. The Court may determine that there is no need for appointment of a personal representative if there are no creditors or claimants to the estate. In this case, the Court will hold a hearing and can enter a final decree or order of distribution. If this happens, then the property will be distributed according to the will, or if there is no will, according to the law.

It is important to note that a Summary Proceeding may not save much time. There needs to still be published notice to creditors. Also, there needs to be a showing that creditors and claims have been paid. This requires running the four-month claims period


A Summary Proceeding can save some of the expenses of a full formal or informal probate. It may not, however, save much on time. Also, the probate still remains open for a year. This means that a creditor that was not properly informed of the proceedings can still attempt to recover on proper claims.

If you need to probate a will and think Summary Proceedings may be right for you, you should contact a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to discuss the matter. Feel free to call Signature Law, PLLC for a free consultation.

About the Author

Gregory Singleton

Trusted Legal Advisor Gregory Singleton is a skilled attorney, experienced in both litigation and transactional work. He has tried multi-million-dollar cases and has negotiated multi-billion dollar contracts. With Signature Law, his goal is to make the law accessible to you, your families, and y...


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Signature Law Is Here for You

Learn More About Signature Law

Contact US Today

Signature Law is committed to answering your questions about Estate Planning, Probate, Wills, Trusts, Health Care Directive, Power of Attorney, Cabin Planning, Supplemental Needs Trust, and Prenuptial Agreements law issues.

We Offer a Free Consultation and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Virtual Office

(612) 428-4002