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How is someones property divided after they pass and have no will?

Brooklyn Park, MN |

My spouse passwed without a will. He has two children that he is involved with and one that he has never been involved with besides paying child support as he was adjudicated the father. Does his property go just to the spouse or how is that divided? Also can the child that he was adjudicated a father to come and claim some of his property even though they never knew one antoher? He would not want that child taking things away from his other two children.

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Attorney answers 1


The Minnesota intestate code provides that the spouse is entitled to the first $150k plus half of the remainder. There are also allowances and exemptions that may be available to you. These rules apply ONLY to assets that your husband held in his own name. Property that was joint passes to the joint tenant. Property that had beneficiaries designated passes to the beneficiaries. Assets in your husband's name alone would need to go through probate.

It would make no difference that your husband and his child never knew one another. That is one of the reasons why he should have executed a Will.

Speaking of which, now is the best time to make sure that YOUR estate planning is taken care of, so your beneficiaries will not need to deal with these kinds of issues. You will want to do this with an estate planning attorney so you make sure it is done properly.

James Frederick

*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.