What happens when someone dies without a Will in Minnesota?

Dying Without a Will in MinnesotaIntestate Estates

When someone dies without a Will in Minnesota, it means they died “intestate”.   (This is as opposed to someone dying with a Will.  In such a case, that person died “testate”).

Who receives and inheritance if a person dies without a Will?

They law on intestate “succession” is somewhat complicated.  This is mainly due to the conflict between what a “surviving spouse” must legally receive versus what surviving children may receive.

In essence, the surviving spouse, if there was one, has first-priority to many probate assets which belonged the deceased person (decedent).  We have written other posts about the rights of surviving spouses.  If you have specific questions about surviving spouse rights, read those posts or call the law office.

Intestate Succession for Deceased Person’s without a surviving spouse

The purpose of this article is to outline what happens if a person dies without a Will and did not have a surviving spouse.  In this case, the children of the deceased receive the entire probate estate.  End of story.

However, in many cases, the law office receives telephone calls from heirs who are not children or surviving spouses.  Essentially, mainly people want to know who gets what if there were not children or surviving spouse.

The deceased person had no children

This is where things get interesting.  Basically, Minnesota Statute 524.102 tells us that:

The deceased person’s remaining assets will be distributed:

  1. to the decedent’s descendant’s by representation;
  2. if there is no surviving descendant, to the decedent’s parents equally if both survive, or to the surviving parent;
  3. if there is not surviving descendant or parent, to the descendants of the decedent’s parents or either of them by representation;
  4.  if there is no surviving descendant, parent, or descendant of a parent, bu the decedent is survived by one or more grandparents or descendants of grandparents, half of the estate passes to the decedent’s paternal grandparents and half to the maternal grandparents, by representation.

These are the four main categories of possible heirs.  Basically, here is the rundown of who receives and inheritance under Minnesota law if a person died intestate:

  1.  the surviving spouse
  2.  the surviving children
  3.  the deceased’s parents
  4.  the deceased’s siblings
  5.  the deceased’s nieces and nephews
  6.  the deceased grandparents or, more likely, one-half to each side of the grandparents family, by representation.

Please be cautioned that the above-explanation is not perfect.  There are slight differences in the statute.  If you have any questions about this, a Minnesota probate lawyers should be consulted.

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Contact the Flanders Law Firm today. The firm offers free consultations to all potential clients.  Call (612) 424-0398.

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