Minnesota Probate Records
|Links to Probate-related Topics|
Probate encompasses all matters and proceedings pertaining to the administration of estates, whether there is a will (testate) or not (intestate). Various types of records are created throughout the probate process. These may include, wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distributions. These documents are extremely valuable to genealogists and should not be neglected. In many instances, they are the only known source of relevant information such as the decedent’s date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their places of residence. They may also include information about adoption or guardianship of minor children and dependents. Probate records may not give an exact death date, but the death most often occurred within a few months of the date of probate. Wills usually mention the names of heirs and frequently specify how those heirs are related. Names of children are given, as well as married names of daughters.
While probate records are one of the most accurate sources of genealogical evidence, they have limitations.
The court administrator of the district court in each county keeps the probate records.
Many Minnesota counties have sent their older records to the State Archives Collection at the Minnesota Historical Society. The Family History Library is acquiring microfilm copies of these records on a county-by-county basis. For more probate records, check the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
MINNESOTA, [COUNTY] – PROBATE RECORDS