Which of your heirs receives your property upon death is determined by inheritance law. In most cases, the surviving spouse inherits the entire estate, unless there is a will stating otherwise. Even if your will partially or completely excludes your surviving spouse, they may elect their statutory share. Children and grandchildren, have rights to claim an inheritance when a parent or grandparent dies.
Inheritance Rights of a Surviving Spouse
In Minnesota, property acquired during marriage is not always owned by both spouses. In Minnesota, property ownership is determined by the name on the title or by ascertaining which spouses’ income purchased the property if a title is irrelevant.
Minnesota law protects a surviving spouse from complete disinheritance. In Minnesota, a surviving spouse is generally given at least $50,000 as the amount which may be taken instead of what was left to the surviving spouse in the will. A deceased spouse can choose to leave less than the state’s mandated inheritance right, however the surviving spouse may make a claim to inherit the predetermined amount. The will is administered according to the decedent’s wishes if the surviving spouse agreed in writing to accept less than the statutory amount or the surviving spouse never goes to court to claim the legal share.
Inheritance Rights of Children
Children generally have no legally protected right to inherit a parent’s property. The law does protect children when an unintentional omission occurs in a will. The law however, presumes that such omissions are an oversight — especially when the birth of the child occurred after the creation of the will. Depending on whether a spouse survives the decedent, the omitted child may inherit some portion of the deceased parent’s estate. If the omission was intentional, the will generally acknowledges such an omission.
Contact Kallemeyn & Kallemeyn if you have any questions to speak to a Minnesota Inheritance Rights Lawyer.