Inheritance laws generally vary from state to state. Sometimes, it is possible for close family members including a surviving spouse and even children and grandchildren can claim and receive an inheritance, even if the will states another preference. In the state of Minnesota, in the vast majority of inheritance cases, a surviving spouse inherits the whole estate. If there is a written provision in the will that states otherwise, the surviving spouse may be able to override the will and claim a portion of the estate.
Surviving Spousal Rights
In the state of Minnesota, a surviving spouse does have protection by law from complete disinheritance. In this state, the surviving spouse is entitled to at least $50,000, even if less was left to him/her in the will. So, if the deceased spouse leaves less than $50,000 to the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse can make a claim via the court system to inherit the full $50,000. Of course, depending on the circumstances, the surviving spouse may also choose not to pursue this full inheritance amount with the court, or the surviving spouse may have agreed in writing to a lesser amount. In these cases, the will’s provision can stand as written.
Inheritance Rights of Children
Children do not have the same rights as a surviving spouse if they were not included in a will. There is no specific monetary amount that they can claim, even if it was not included in the will. However, if the omission from the will seems to be unintentional, then the courts may step in. One example is when a child is born around the time of the parent’s death, or after the will was drawn up. If a child is purposefully omitted from a will, that should be clearly communicated in the document.
Kallemeyn & Kallemeyn: Highly Experienced Inheritance Rights Attorneys
Each inheritance situation is entirely unique with a complicated history and set of circumstances. Often times, these situations require the assistance of an inheritance rights attorney with experience managing these kinds of issues. The team at Kallemeyn & Kallemeyn can help you draw up your will in a way that will communicate your specific wishes in a way that they will have the best chance of being honored. And, if you are a surviving spouse and have legal questions about the will of your deceased spouse, we can help you determine the best way to move forward. Give our team a call 1-763-427-5131 with all estate planning questions in the Twin Cities, MN area.