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.
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:
- if you do not have a spouse or children or grandchildren, but your parents are still alive, your parents will inherit everything;
- 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;
- if you have children but no spouse, your children or grandchildren will inherit everything equally;
- if you are married but have no children or grandchildren, your spouse will inherit everything;
- if you are married and have children with that spouse and no other children or grandchildren from others, your spouse inherits everything;
- 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;
- 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.
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.