Objecting to a will is referred to as contesting or disputing a will. Wills are handled by the probate court. Depending upon what county the decedent died in, the probate court might operate differently. Some counties have a judge team that is solely dedicated to probate and other counties have judges that rotate through probate hearings.
In order to contest or object to a will, it is important to know if the will has been filed with the court. The will could have been filed with the court while the decedent was still alive. This is known as filing a will for safekeeping. If a will is filed for safekeeping, the only way court administration can verify the existence of the will is with proof of the decedent’s death either through a death certificate or an obituary. It’s important to call probate administration ahead of time to verify the county’s exact procedure as it may vary slightly from county to county.
More commonly, the will will be filed with the court concurrently with a petition to probate the will. If this has happened, someone is asking to be appointed as the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. A hearing will be scheduled on this petition. All interested persons must receive notice of this hearing. An interested person is defined by Minn. Statute 524.1-201(33). Notice of the hearing must also be published in a legal publishers in the county where the hearing is being held. For a list of legal periodicals by county, click here.