Who is entitled to my late father’s things?

Is it his wife after 13 years of separation, my 3 step siblings or myself (his son)?

Asked on October 28, 2013 under Estate Planning, Minnesota


Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If your father had a will, the estate will be divided according to the will.  If he had life insurance, it will go to the named beneficiary.  If he had any accounts or real estate with other people as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, it will pass to those joint tenants.  If none of those things apply, then the estate will pass according to your state's law of intestacy.  In Arizona, where I am, it would all go to the wife, although they were separated, if still legally married.  In Minnesota, the spouse gets the first $150,000.  If there is anything more, the spouse gets 50% of that and the descendants share the other 50%.

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