If you die without a valid will while residing in the State of North Dakota, you are said to have died "intestate." In order to determine who will receive your property if you die intestate, the State of North Dakota 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 North Dakota Intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession statutes.
1. Any part of a decedent's estate not effectively disposed of by will passes by intestate succession to the decedent's heirs as prescribed in this title, except as modified by the decedent's will.
2. 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 the intestate share.
1. The entire intestate estate if:
a. No descendant or parent of the decedent survives the decedent; or
b. 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 two hundred thousand dollars, plus three-fourths of any balance of the intestate estate, if no descendant of the decedent survives the decedent, but a parent of the decedent survives the decedent.
3. The first one hundred fifty thousand dollars, plus one-half of any balance of the intestate, 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.
4. The first one hundred thousand dollars, plus one-half of any balance of the intestate estate, if one or more of the decedent's surviving descendants are not descendants of the surviving spouse.
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 Page No. 1 descendant's 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.
An individual who is related to the decedent through two lines of relationship is entitled to only a single share based on the relationship that would entitle the individual to the larger share.
1. An adopted individual is the child of an adopting parent or parents and not of the natural parents, but adoption of a child by the spouse of either natural parent has no effect on the relationship between the child and that natural parent or the right of the child or a descendant of the child to inherit from or through the other natural parent.
2. Inheritance from and through a child by either natural parent or kindred is precluded unless that natural parent has openly treated the child as the parent's, and has not refused to support the child.
3. In cases not covered by subsections 1 and 2, an individual is the child of its natural parents regardless of the marital status of its parents. The parent and child relationship may be established under chapter 14-17.
[Reference - North Dakota's Intestacy laws]