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Can you claim inheritance if you weren't mentioned in the will?

When a loved one passes away in Minnesota, they often leave behind a will or other estate planning document. These documents are important in spelling out who will receive their assets upon their death. Sometimes these documents contain errors and are outdated. Or a potential heir is not mentioned. In these cases, there may be a cause for probate litigation.

Despite what is written in a person's will, a surviving spouse often can claim an inheritance along with their children or grandchildren. Minnesota is a common law state which means that the surviving spouse can claim 1/3 of the deceased's estate. A deceased spouse may leave less than that to their spouse but it can then be challenged in court. If the surviving spouse does not go to court the will is carried out according to the deceased's wishes. Surviving children may receive portions of the estate if they were unintentionally left out of the will. Many times this occurs when a person creates their will before they have children. If the children were left out of the will intentionally, then the will should state that information. Grandchildren may also have the right to inherit property if the will does not explicitly state that the creator disinherited them.

An estate dispute is often a touchy subject for families. A legal professional who is skilled in these types of estate situations can help their client minimize the ongoing consequences of a will dispute. They can develop creative solutions and help work through their differences. If litigation is necessary, they will vigorously represent their interests.

Occasionally, a person's will is subject to dispute. In these cases, having an attorney on your side can make a big difference in the outcome.

Source:, "Inheritance law and your rights", accessed on Aug. 26, 2017

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