How can you figure out if you’re an heir?

On Behalf of | Dec 11, 2020 | Heirs & Beneficiaries, Probate Litigation |

When Minnesota residents die without a will, their heirs are typically next in line to receive all their assets. If you’ve recently lost a loved one, you might be wondering if you’re entitled to a portion of their estate. Here’s how you can figure out if you’re one of the decedent’s heirs or not.

Which family members are considered to be heirs?

Under intestacy law, the individual’s spouse is first in line to receive a share of the estate. If the individual had children, they’ll also be entitled to a share of the assets. No matter where you go, spouses and children are always considered to be heirs. However, if the individual doesn’t have a living spouse or children, the situation becomes more complicated.

According to Minnesota law, the individual’s grandchildren might be considered heirs if their parents are no longer living. If they died without any children or grandchildren, their estate might go to heirs-in-law like siblings, parents and even grandparents. If none of these people are living, their assets would go to any blood relatives that are still alive.

Finally, if the individual appears to have no heirs, the state will run a notice in the local newspaper asking people to come forward. If you see a notice and suspect that you’re related to the individual, you can file a request to be considered one of their heirs. If your request is accepted, you might end up inheriting some or all of their estate. Otherwise, their properties, savings accounts, investments and other assets will all be given to their state of residence.

Should you hire an attorney during probate?

You might wish to hire an attorney if there are issues or disputes during probate. For example, if you believe that you’re entitled to part of the estate, you might want to hire an attorney to help you argue your case. If you’re the one managing the estate, your attorney could help you locate heirs, distribute the assets, see if the will is valid, deal with family disputes and other common issues that might arise.