Probate is the process by which a court decides whether a will is valid or not and how to manage its assets based on the answer to this question. Under Minnesota`s inheritance laws, estates must go through probate court if they fall under certain conditions. Minnesota legal laws determine who inherits your property if you die without a will. The end result depends on whether you are married or have children, relatives or other more distant relatives living at the time of your death. In general, the people closest to you inherit your property. Like many states, Minnesota requires a close relative to survive the deceased by 120 hours, or five days, to inherit under intestate succession laws. 524.2-104 states: Minnesota`s intestate inheritance laws require a distribution of your assets. But they don`t solve all the problems of an estate plan. For example, when writing a will, you can appoint a guardian and substitute tutor for your minor children. Minnesota`s inheritance laws use a 120-hour survival period that must be completed before a legal inheritance can pass to a parent.
Legal inheritance laws are designed so that a spouse, descendant or other distant relative has the opportunity to inherit your property if you do not make a will before your death. However, these legal laws can lead to unfair results and do not allow for the specialized planning that most families need. If you want more control over what happens to your estate, it`s recommended that you consult a lawyer to create your own personalized estate plan. The laws of succession only govern what happens to your intestate succession. To understand what your intestate estate consists of, you must first understand the difference between estate and non-estate assets. In general, estate assets are assets held only in your personal name and require the help of an estate court to transfer ownership to your beneficiaries. Estate assets include tangible personal property, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit and real estate titled solely in your name. Non-inheritance assets do not require court assistance to transfer title and are not subject to legal succession. Non-estate assets include co-ownership and assets designated as beneficiaries, such as: Life insurance proceeds, funds in a 401(k) retirement account or otherwise, and real estate transferred through a death transfer. Intestate inheritance laws are supposed to be closer to what most people would do if they created an estate plan.
If you want to bequeath part of your estate to people who are not your biological parents, the legal succession will not succeed. If you have a partner you`re not married to, a favorite charity you want to support, or a dear friend you want to leave personal property to, dying without a will won`t give them your inheritance, so you need to have an estate plan. Even if you are the next of kin to inherit the estate of a deceased Minnesota, there is no guarantee that there are assets you can inherit. If the deceased had no probate assets, there is nothing to inherit under Minnesota`s gut laws. See the table of estate and non-estate assets. First, you must personally sign the will. You can only have it signed by someone else if you are physically unable to do so. For added protection, Minnesota`s inheritance laws require at least two other people who know at least a little bit about your will to sign it after seeing your signature. The State will consider those who comply with these provisions to be «attestations». But the assets you own in your name alone, such as bank accounts, vehicles, real estate, stocks and bonds, artwork, clothing, jewelry and personal items, go to your «next of kin.» Not surprisingly, if there is a surviving spouse, most or all of the estate goes to them. Minnesota, like 10 other U.S. states and the District of Columbia, levies its own estate tax in addition to federal estate taxes.
However, the rest of the state`s inheritance laws are fairly standard and in line with the guidelines of most other states. If you need help navigating the complexities of estate planning, SmartAsset`s free financial advisor matching tool can match you with up to three advisors serving your area. Minnesota`s intestate laws require a distribution of your assets if you die without a will. But they don`t solve all the problems of an estate plan. For example, when writing a will, you can appoint a guardian and substitute tutor for your minor children. If you die without a will and your young children do not have a living parent who can care for them, the probate court will appoint a guardian, and it may be someone you did not choose. In addition, you can use a will to appoint a personal representative for your estate. A personal representative will manage your estate`s finances and ensure that your wishes are granted. Without a will, the court decides who will supervise your estate.
The standard rules of Minnesota legal law are a poor substitute for a will, as these rules also apply to estates, regardless of the value of a person`s assets or the number of beneficiaries a person leaves behind. This one-size-fits-all approach can lead to unfair results. Suppose Marnie dies without a valid will, leaving behind her husband Doug and a son from a previous marriage, Gared. Marnie`s only fortune at the time of his death was a primary residence of $300,000 and $225,000 in cash. Under intestate laws, Doug received use of the family home for the rest of his life and $225,000 in cash, less funeral, taxes and expenses for Marnie`s estate. Gared will receive nothing. Personal property is all other property located in an estate, such as jewellery, vehicles, valuables and furniture. If an estate has no real estate but less than $75,000 in personal property, you can avoid probate proceedings by filing an affidavit for recovery of personal property. Any amount beyond that, and the probate court must be involved. To apply, heirs must wait until 30 days have passed since the person`s death, in accordance with the Minnesota Estates Act. In the context of a wrongful homicide prosecution in Minnesota, the term «next of kin» refers to members of the category from which beneficiaries are selected under the Integrity Act. An estate attorney in Minnesota can help you determine your status as a next of kin or legal heir.
If you open certain types of policies and accounts throughout your lifetime, they require the designation of a beneficiary. This title is intended to determine who receives the inheritance related to the asset in the event of death. Therefore, Minnesota`s inheritance laws treat the following accounts as non-sensitive: In addition, intestate inheritance laws deal with what happens to your property after your death, but do nothing to help you if you become legally incapable during your lifetime, such as a sudden injury or accident. To have someone make medical or financial decisions for you when you can`t, you`ll need powers of attorney as part of your estate plan. Otherwise, in turn, probate court will have to appoint a guardian and/or curator for you, and that may not be someone you want in that role. In summary, the people who would inherit your estate if you died without a will are in order: spouses and/or children, parents, siblings, nieces/nephews, grandparents, uncles/aunts, cousins. This legal order of succession is close to what many people would do if they made a will. So, given the laws of legal succession, why do you need to make an estate plan? If you do not have a valid will at the time of your death, the decision-making process is entirely up to the Minnesota court system. If this describes your situation, your estate plans are considered «intestate plans,» which is the legal term for estates without a valid will. As a result, the statutory law on the inheritance of the State will then come into play. Just because a legal heir does not hold U.S. citizenship or is an undocumented immigrant does not mean the state makes him or her a legal heir under Minnesota`s inheritance laws.
At its core, estate planning is about protecting people and relationships. Intestate inheritance laws are a good safety net, but they are not a substitute for an estate plan tailored to your needs. If you have deferred the creation of an estate plan, take the first step and consult an estate planning lawyer for both your family and yours. These detailed laws outline the order in which your loved ones receive ownership of your estate, based on which family members survive you.