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Minnesota Probate and Estate Tax Laws

We never want to imagine a friend or family member passing away, but in that unfortunate event, we do have to figure out what happens next. When a person dies, they are legally referred to as a "decedent," and the possessions they leave behind are known as an "estate." This can be anything from physical property like a house or a car to financial interests in stocks or companies.

When it comes time to settle the decedent's affairs, this estate administration normally occurs in a probate court, and the exact disposition of the property will generally depend on the specific circumstances of the decedent and the amount of his or her assets. Here's a brief introduction to probate and estate tax laws in Minnesota.

Probate and Estate Tax Statutes in Minnesota

Minnesota's probate and estate tax laws are highlighted in the following table.

Code Sections

Uniform Probate Code: MN Statutes §524.1, et seq.

Estate Tax: MN Statutes §291.005, et seq.

Types of Estate Administration

Minnesota gross estate: the federal gross estate of a decedent after

Excluding any property included in the estate outside Minnesota; and

Including any property omitted from the federal gross estate which is includable in the estate, is in Minnesota, and was not disclosed to federal taxing authorities.

Family Allowances

The amount of the family allowance may be determined by the personal representative in an amount not to exceed $1,500 per month.

Lasts for one year if the estate is inadequate to discharge allowed claims; or for 18 months if the estate is adequate to discharge allowed claims.

What Assets Go Through Probate?

A person’s real and personal property at the time of his or her death.

What Assets Skip Probate Entirely?

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

One automobile, if any, without regard to value.

Estate Taxes

For estates of decedents dying in 2014:

Amount of Minnesota Taxable Estate

Rate of Tax

Not over $1,200,000


$1,200,000 - $1,400,000

nine percent of the excess over $1,200,000

$1,400,000 - $3,600,000

$18,000 plus ten percent of the excess over $1,400,000

$3,600,000 - $4,100,000

$238,000 plus 10.4 percent of the excess over $3,600,000

$4,100,000 - $5,100,000

$290,000 plus 11.2 percent of the excess over $4,100,000

$5,100,000 - $6,100,000

$402,000 plus 12 percent of the excess over $5,100,000

$6,100,000 - $7,100,000

$522,000 plus 12.8 percent of the excess over $6,100,000

$7,100,000 - $8,100,000

$650,000 plus 13.6 percent of the excess over $7,100,000

$8,100,000 - $9,100,000

$786,000 plus 14.4 percent of the excess over $8,100,000

$9,100,000 - $10,100,000

$930,000 plus 15.2 percent of the excess over $9,100,000

Over $10,100,000

$1,082,000 plus 16 percent of the excess over $10,100,000

What Other Taxes Must be Paid?

Recapture Tax: If heir sells inherited property within three years of decedent's death, may owe 16% of the claimed exclusion.

Minnesota Probate and Estate Tax Laws: Related Resources

Making estate decisions and navigating probate matters can be confusing. You can contact a Minnesota probate and estate administration attorney if you would like legal assistance with a probate or estate tax matter. You can also find additional information and resources on this topic in FindLaw's sections on Probate Basics, Estate Tax Laws, and Minnesota Estate Planning Laws.

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