If you die without a valid will while residing in the State of Minnesota, you are said to have died "intestate." In order to determine who will receive your property if you die intestate, the State of Minnesota has established a number of laws (known as "intestacy laws" or "laws of intestate succession.") The primary statutes comprising these intestacy laws, or laws of intestate succession, are set forth below. For a more complete list, see Minnesota Intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession statutes.
(a) The intestate estate of the decedent consists of any part of the decedent's estate not allowed to the decedent's spouse or descendants under sections 524.2-402, 524.2-403, and 524.2-404, and not disposed of by will. The intestate estate passes by intestate succession to the decedent's heirs as prescribed in this chapter, except as modified by the decedent's will.
(b) A decedent by will may expressly exclude or limit the right of an individual or class to succeed to property of the decedent passing by intestate succession. If that individual or a member of that class survives the decedent, the share of the decedent's intestate estate to which that individual
or class would have succeeded passes as if that individual or each member of that class had disclaimed an intestate share.
The intestate share of a decedent's surviving spouse is:
(1) the entire intestate estate if:
(i) no descendant of the decedent survives the decedent; or
(ii) all of the decedent's surviving descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse and there is no other descendant of the surviving spouse who survives the decedent;
(2) the first $150,000, plus one-half of any balance of the intestate estate, if all of the
decedent's surviving descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse and the surviving spouse has one or more surviving descendants who are not descendants of the decedent, or if one or more of the decedent's surviving descendants are not descendants of the surviving spouse.
Any part of the intestate estate not passing to the decedent's surviving spouse under section 524.2-102, or the entire intestate estate if there is no surviving spouse, passes in the following order to the individuals designated below who survive the decedent:
(1) to the decedent's descendants 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 no 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, but the decedent is survived by one or more grandparents or descendants of grandparents, half of the estate passes to the decedent's paternal grandparents equally if both survive, or to the surviving paternal grandparent, or to the descendants of the decedent's paternal grandparents or either of them if both are deceased, the descendants taking by representation; and the other half passes to the decedent's maternal relatives in the same manner; but if there is no surviving grandparent or descendant of a grandparent on either the paternal or the maternal side, the entire estate passes to the decedent's relatives on the other side in the same manner as the half;
(5) if there is no surviving descendant, parent, descendant of a parent, grandparent, or
descendant of a grandparent, to the next of kin in equal degree, except that when there are two or more collateral kindred in equal degree claiming through different ancestors, those who claim through the nearest ancestor shall take to the exclusion of those claiming through an ancestor more remote.
An individual who fails to survive the decedent by 120 hours is deemed to have predeceased
the decedent for purposes of homestead, exempt property, and intestate succession, and the
decedent's heirs are determined accordingly. If it is not established that an individual who would otherwise be an heir survived the decedent by 120 hours, it is deemed that the individual failed to survive for the required period. This section is not to be applied if its application would result in a taking of intestate estate by the state under section 524.2-105.
If there is no taker under the provisions of this article, the intestate estate passes to the state.
There are additional statutes pertaining to the distribution of intestate property in the State of Minnesota. To view those statutes, please click here.
[Reference - Minnesota's Intestacy Laws]
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