If you have been selected as the personal representative/executor of an estate, you must petition the probate court for legal proof of this authority. You will need to present a copy of the decedent’s death certificate and legal will, and your personal identification to the probate court. In return, you will be granted a letter of testamentary.

What is a Letter of Testamentary?

A letter of testamentary, also sometimes called letters testamentary, is a legal document granted by the probate court that gives you the legal authority to settle a decedent’s estate according to the instructions in their will and state law. This document is verification that:

  • You have the legal right to act as the personal representative/executor of a particular person’s estate.
  • You have legal authority to pay an estate’s debts, take inventory and possession of the estate’s assets and distribute those assets on behalf of the decedent.
  • You have legal authority to carry out other duties of an executor, such as real estate transactions, banking endeavors and other financial-related matters.

Who Requires Letters of Testamentary?

It is recommended that you obtain many legal, certified copies of the original letter of testamentary to use as you carry out estate business. How many copies will you need? One for each entity involved in estate business. This can include:

  • Banks
  • Insurance companies
  • Investment firms
  • One for each piece of real estate to be liquidated or transferred
  • Attorneys
  • Your own records
  • Creditors

When you have been selected as the personal representative/executor of an estate, there are numerous tasks you are required to perform, and many of them require legal assistance. An experienced Minnesota estate planning attorney from Segal Duffek Moen PLLC in Minneapolis can provide all the help and counsel you need to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Call us today to schedule a consultation to discuss probate matters, including obtaining and using letters of testamentary.