Regarding COVID-19:

Collins, Buckley, Sauntry & Haugh remains open for business during this Stay at Home period as our work has been deemed essential by Governor Walz. To ensure we can serve our clients and that our staff is safe and healthy we are doing our work remotely. We continue to work on current and new client matters. Minnesota Courts are determining which cases will be heard based on their priority level. If you have an active case and an upcoming hearing date, we will notify you regarding any additional impact the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 may have on your case. Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation during this time.

What happens if you die without a will?

| Jun 12, 2020 | Firm News

If you have not yet made your Last Will and Testament, you may wish to consider doing so. Why? Because if you die without one, the State of Minnesota decides who gets your assets and in what proportion, regardless of what your preferences may have been. 

Smart Asset explains that this result goes by the name of intestacy, the state laws by which certain of your family members inherit from you when you die without a will. 

Immediate family 

Under the intestacy laws, who inherits what portion of your assets depends on which of your family members survive you and how many of them there are. With regard to your immediate family, distributions go as follows: 

  • If your spouse survives you but you have no surviving children, (s)he inherits your entire estate. 
  • If your spouse survives you and you and (s)he had children together who survive you, (s)he likewise inherits your entire estate and your children inherit nothing. 
  • If your spouse survives you and you and (s)he had children together who survive you, plus (s)he has children by someone other than you who survive you, (s)he inherits the first $225,000 of your estate plus half of its remainder and your surviving children (not his or hers) inherit the other half equally. 
  • If your spouse survives you and you have surviving children by someone other than him or her, (s)he likewise the first $225,000 of your estate plus half of its remainder and your surviving children inherit the other half equally. 
  • If you have no surviving spouse but have surviving children, they inherit your entire estate in equal proportions. 

Defining “children” 

For intestacy purposes, the word “children” refers to your biological or adopted children. Also, if one or more of your children predecease you but their own children, i.e., your grandchildren, survive you, then they inherit that portion of your estate that their deceased parent would have inherited had (s)he survived you.