Estate Administration

When a loved one passes away, the task of administering their estate or trust can be overwhelming and cumbersome. We work to alleviate the stress on clients by assisting with the administration. Depending on the decedent’s estate and estate plan, we guide clients through the necessary steps of the process to ensure the decedent’s wishes are followed.


Probate is the process by which a decedent’s estate is administered either by the terms of the decedent’s Will or by the Minnesota statutes of intestacy, if there is no Will.

A Personal Representative, also known as an executor, of an estate will have many duties including, but not limited to: identifying, taking possession of and protecting all of the estate’s assets; investing and monitoring the estate’s financial assets; managing any real estate and business interests; paying claims, debts and taxes, including estate taxes and final income taxes; accounting to the court; and distributing the remaining assets in accordance with a Will and/or by the order of the Probate Court.

Given all of these duties, a Personal Representatives can hire Sykora & Santini PLLC to assist them with the process of probating an individual’s estate. This process can specifically involve:

  • Applying for probate with the county Probate Court, both formally and informally
  • Handling the estate’s creditors
  • Assisting with estate sales
  • Completing the inventory or final accounting
  • Conducting an Ancillary Probate
  • Coordinating any necessary tax returns for the estate


If the decedent’s estate was held in trust, we can assist the trustee in administering the trust according to its terms. We can help distribute the assets and with the sale, or retitling, of any real estate held in trust. Additionally, we can advise beneficiaries on how to handle and protect their inheritance.

If the decedent’s estate plan establishes a trust, we can help set-up the trust and educate the appointed trustee of his or her duties and obligations. Additionally, if a corporate trustee is nominated, we can work with the corporate trustee to establish the trust and ensure it is administered properly.

Decree of Descent

Sometimes family members are unaware that probate is needed. If probate is needed, it is required to be opened within 3 years after a decedent’s death in Minnesota. If, however, it is determined that probate is needed after the 3 year window, we can assist clients with obtaining a Decree of Descent. The process to obtain the Decree of Descent is similar to that of probate.