The Minnesota probate system

is a legal system whereby a person’s estate is administered through the court system. Probate happens when the person dies with or without a will. The estate only needs to be probated if the assets are worth more than $50,000.Probate - Virtus LAw

If a person died without a will,

then Minnesota law will determine the distribution. The state-sponsored legislative plan for disposing of assets if you do not have a will or revocable living trust in Minnesota:

  1. if you do not have a spouse or children or grandchildren, but your parents are still alive, your parents will inherit everything;
  2. if you do not have a spouse or children or grandchildren and your parents have already passed away as well, your siblings will inherit everything;
  3. if you have children but no spouse, your children or grandchildren will inherit everything equally;
  4. if you are married but have no children or grandchildren, your spouse will inherit everything;
  5. if you are married and have children with that spouse and no other children or grandchildren from others, your spouse inherits everything;
  6. if you are married and have children or grandchildren with your spouse and you or your spouse has children or grandchildren from a different relationship, your surviving spouse receives the first $225,000 and then 50% of whatever assets you have in excess of that and your children inherit everything else equally;
  7. if you do not have a living spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, or siblings, the law will try to dispose of the assets to cousins and nephews and nieces.
Trust - Virtus Law

Some assets won’t be probated. For example,

  • assets titled in the name of a revocable living trust,
  • property held in joint tenancy,
  • property with transfer on death directions,
  • beneficiary designations on financial products, i.e. life insurance, annuities, retirement plans.

The probate process ends when the entire state has been divided.