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Handling an estate without a will requires probate court

| Jun 5, 2021 | Estate Planning & Probate

Many people cite the desire to avoid probate court as their main motivation for estate planning. By detailing their instructions for the distribution of their personal property in a will, individuals help ensure that their loved ones will receive what want them to have while also avoiding the delays and expenses involved in probate court proceedings.

Sometimes, estates with detailed plans still wind up in probate court. However, any estate that does not have an estate plan or at least a will on record needs to go through the probate court.

The courts will apply intestate succession law to any assets

If someone dies without a will in Minnesota, there are already laws in place to guide the distribution of their property. Intestate succession laws in Minnesota focus on dependent family members like spouses and children, although parents, siblings and other family members can also receive an inheritance in some situations.

Regardless of the relationship that someone had with the family members will inherit their property, it is the nature of the relationship and not how well the people maintained it that determines the right of inheritance. For those who have become estranged from their families or who are not married to their romantic partners, estate planning is very important to protect their wishes.

While the probate courts do have some discretion in intestate succession cases, they cannot set the law aside for the benefit of a romantic partner or other individual who believes the deceased wanted to leave them an inheritance. Understanding the law can help you take steps to protect your loved ones and your property after you’re gone