Minnesota Law Review
Estate administration is the process by which the affairs of a decedent are settled. During the course of administration of an estate, property owned by a decedent is collected and inventoried, debts and taxes are paid, and property is distributed to those having a right to succeed to it. Controversy has surrounded estate administration in recent years. 2 Critics of the process have advised the public to "avoid probate" because of allegedly high fees and unreasonable delays in settling estates; 3 the legal community has responded with various reform proposals. 4 The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and the American Bar Association (ABA) proposed a Uniform Probate Code (U.P.C.) which several states have adopted. 5 Unfortunately, the critics, reformers, and defenders of the estate administration process have had access to little empirical data to buttress their positions. This Article presents the findings of an empirical study of estate administration undertaken to fill that void. 6
Robert Stein and Ian Fierstein, The Role of the Attorney in Estate Administration, 68 Minn. L. Rev. 1107 (1984), available at http://scholarship.law.umn.edu/faculty_articles/441.