What are my rights to my late aunt’s property?

I took care of my aunt for about 15 years. She passed away last year and did not leave a Will. I was the beneficiary on her life insurance policy. I would like to know if there is a chance that I could get her property where I live. There is a potential claim from the DHS.

Asked on May 23, 2018 under Estate Planning, Minnesota

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

When someone dies without a Will, they die "intestate'. This means that the intestacy laws of the state in which they were domiciled at the time of their death will control. Typically, the heirs will be the surviving spouse, if any, and the children of the deceased. If none, then the estate goes to the deceased's parents if living, if not then it goes to their siblings, otherwise it goes to their nieces/nehhews and so on. Therefore, whether or not you're entitled to any of your aunt's estate will depend on just which of her next of kin is still living. Your desingation as the benenficiary of her life insurance policy has no bearing on this. Also, the inheriting heir will only receive their share of the estate once all creditor claims have been settled.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

When someone dies without a Will, they die "intestate'. This means that the intestacy laws of the state in which they were domiciled at the time of their death will control. Typically, the heirs will be the surviving spouse, if any, and the children of the deceased. If none, then the estate goes to the deceased's parents if living, if not then it goes to their siblings, otherwise it goes to their nieces/nehhews and so on. Therefore, whether or not you're entitled to any of your aunt's estate will depend on just which of her next of kin is still living. Your desingation as the benenficiary of her life insurance policy has no bearing on this. Also, the inheriting heir will only receive their share of the estate once all creditor claims have been settled. 


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