Estate Planning

If you die without a valid will while residing in the State of Mississippi, you are said to have died "intestate."  In order to determine who will receive your property if you die intestate, the State of Mississippi has established a number of laws (known as "intestacy laws" or "laws of intestate succession.") The primary statutes comprising these intestacy laws, or laws of intestate succession, are set forth below. For a more complete list, see the Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended.

 

 

What law to govern

All personal property situated in this state shall descend and be distributed according to the laws of this state regulating the descent and distribution of such property, regardless of all marital rights which may have accrued in other states, and notwithstanding the domicile of the deceased may have been in another state, and whether the heirs or persons entitled to distribution be in this state or not. The widow of such deceased person shall take her share in the personal estate according to the laws of this state. 

Mississippi Code, § 91-1-1

 

Descent of land

When any person shall die seized of any estate of inheritance in lands, tenements, and hereditaments not devised, the same shall descend to his or her children, and their descendants, in equal parts, the descendants of the deceased child or grandchild to take the share of the deceased parent in equal parts among them. When there shall not be a child or children of the intestate nor descendants of such children, then to the brothers and sisters and father and mother of the intestate and the descendants of such brothers and sisters in equal parts, the descendants of a sister or brother of the intestate to have in equal parts among them their deceased parent's share. If there shall not be a child or children of the intestate, or descendants of such children, or brothers or sisters, or descendants of them, or father or mother, then such estate shall descend, in equal parts, to the grandparents and uncles and aunts, if any there be; otherwise, such estate shall descend in equal parts to the next of kin of the intestate in equal degree, computing by the rules of the civil law. There shall not be any representation among collaterals, except among the descendants of the brothers and sisters of the intestate. 

Mississippi Code, § 91-1-3

 

Descent of property as between husband and wife

If a husband die intestate and do not leave children or descendants of children, his widow shall be entitled to his entire estate, real and personal, in fee simple, after payment of his debts; but where the deceased husband shall leave a child or children by that or a former marriage, or descendants of such child or children, his widow shall have a child's part of his estate, in either case in fee simple. If a married woman die owning any real or personal estate not disposed of, it shall descend to her husband and her children or their descendants if she have any surviving her, either by a former husband or by the surviving husband, in equal parts, according to the rules of descent. If she have children and there also be descendants of other children who have died before the mother, the descendants shall inherit the share to which the parent would have been entitled if living, as coheirs with the surviving children. If she have no children or descendants of them, then the husband shall inherit all of her property. 

Mississippi Code, § 91-1-7

 

Descent of trust estates

If any cestui que trust shall die leaving a trust in lands, tenements, or hereditaments in fee simple or in freehold, the trust shall descend as real estate if not disposed of by will, or if not inconsistent with the declaration of the trust. 

Mississippi Code, § 91-1-9

 

Personal estate to descend as real estate

When any person shall die possessed of goods and chattels or personal estate not bequeathed, the same shall descend to and be distributed among his or her heirs in the same manner that real estate not devised descends. 

Mississippi Code, § 91-1-11

 

Other intestacy statutes

There are additional statutes pertaining to the distribution of intestate property in the State of Mississippi. To view those statutes, please click here.

 

[Reference - Mississippi's Intestacy Laws]

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If you die without a valid will while residing in the State of Minnesota, you are said to have died "intestate."  In order to determine who will receive your property if you die intestate, the State of Minnesota has established a number of laws (known as "intestacy laws" or "laws of intestate succession.") The primary statutes comprising these intestacy laws, or laws of intestate succession, are set forth below. For a more complete list, see Minnesota Intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession statutes.

 

 

INTESTATE ESTATE

(a) The intestate estate of the decedent consists of any part of the decedent's estate not allowed to the decedent's spouse or descendants under sections 524.2-402524.2-403, and 524.2-404, and not disposed of by will. The intestate estate passes by intestate succession to the decedent's heirs as prescribed in this chapter, except as modified by the decedent's will.

(b) A decedent by will may expressly exclude or limit the right of an individual or class to succeed to property of the decedent passing by intestate succession. If that individual or a member of that class survives the decedent, the share of the decedent's intestate estate to which that individual
or class would have succeeded passes as if that individual or each member of that class had disclaimed an intestate share.

Minnesota Statutes, 524.2-101

 

SHARE OF THE SPOUSE

The intestate share of a decedent's surviving spouse is:

(1) the entire intestate estate if:

          (i) no descendant of the decedent survives the decedent; or

          (ii) all of the decedent's surviving descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse and there is no other descendant of the surviving spouse who survives the decedent;

(2) the first $150,000, plus one-half of any balance of the intestate estate, if all of the
decedent's surviving descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse and the surviving spouse has one or more surviving descendants who are not descendants of the decedent, or if one or more of the decedent's surviving descendants are not descendants of the surviving spouse.

Minnesota Statutes, 524.2-102

 

SHARE OF HEIRS OTHER THAN SURVIVING SPOUSE

Any part of the intestate estate not passing to the decedent's surviving spouse under section 524.2-102, or the entire intestate estate if there is no surviving spouse, passes in the following order to the individuals designated below who survive the decedent:

(1) to the decedent's descendants by representation;

(2) if there is no surviving descendant, to the decedent's parents equally if both survive,
or to the surviving parent;

(3) if there is no surviving descendant or parent, to the descendants of the decedent's parents or either of them by representation;

(4) if there is no surviving descendant, parent, or descendant of a parent, but the decedent is survived by one or more grandparents or descendants of grandparents, half of the estate passes to the decedent's paternal grandparents equally if both survive, or to the surviving paternal grandparent, or to the descendants of the decedent's paternal grandparents or either of them if both are deceased, the descendants taking by representation; and the other half passes to the decedent's maternal relatives in the same manner; but if there is no surviving grandparent or descendant of a grandparent on either the paternal or the maternal side, the entire estate passes to the decedent's relatives on the other side in the same manner as the half;

(5) if there is no surviving descendant, parent, descendant of a parent, grandparent, or
descendant of a grandparent, to the next of kin in equal degree, except that when there are two or more collateral kindred in equal degree claiming through different ancestors, those who claim through the nearest ancestor shall take to the exclusion of those claiming through an ancestor more remote.

Minnesota Statutes, 524.2-103

 

REQUIREMENT THAT HEIR SURVIVE DECEDENT FOR 120 HOURS

An individual who fails to survive the decedent by 120 hours is deemed to have predeceased
the decedent for purposes of homestead, exempt property, and intestate succession, and the
decedent's heirs are determined accordingly. If it is not established that an individual who would otherwise be an heir survived the decedent by 120 hours, it is deemed that the individual failed to survive for the required period. This section is not to be applied if its application would result in a taking of intestate estate by the state under section 524.2-105.

Minnesota Statutes, 524.2-104

 

NO TAKER

If there is no taker under the provisions of this article, the intestate estate passes to the state.

Minnesota Statutes, 524.2-105

 

OTHER INTESTACY STATUTES

There are additional statutes pertaining to the distribution of intestate property in the State of Minnesota. To view those statutes, please click here.

 

[Reference - Minnesota's Intestacy Laws]

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If you die without a valid will while residing in the State of Michigan, you are said to have died "intestate."  In order to determine who will receive your property if you die intestate, the State of Michigan has established a number of laws (known as "intestacy laws" or "laws of intestate succession.") The primary statutes comprising these intestacy laws, or laws of intestate succession, are set forth below. For a more complete list, see Michigan Intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession statutes.

 

 

Intestate estate

(1) Any part of a decedent's estate not effectively disposed of by will passes by intestate succession to the decedent's heirs as prescribed in this act, except as modified by the decedent's will.

(2) A decedent by will may expressly exclude or limit the right of an individual or class to succeed to property of the decedent that passes by intestate succession. If that individual or a member of that class survives the decedent, the share of the decedent's intestate estate to which that individual or class would have succeeded passes as if that individual or each member of that class had disclaimed his or her intestate share.
Michigan Compiled Laws, 700.2101

 

Share of spouse

(1) The intestate share of a decedent's surviving spouse is 1 of the following:

          (a) The entire intestate estate if no descendant or parent of the decedent survives the decedent.

          (b) The first $150,000.00, plus 1/2 of any balance of the intestate estate, if all of the decedent's surviving descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse and there is no other descendant of the surviving spouse who survives the decedent.

          (c) The first $150,000.00, plus 3/4 of any balance of the intestate estate, if no descendant of the decedent survives the decedent, but a parent of the decedent survives the decedent.

          (d) The first $150,000.00, plus 1/2 of any balance of the intestate estate, if all of the decedent's surviving descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse and the surviving spouse has 1 or more surviving descendants who are not descendants of the decedent.

          (e) The first $150,000.00, plus 1/2 of any balance of the intestate estate, if 1 or more, but not all, of the decedent's surviving descendants are not descendants of the surviving spouse.

          (f) The first $100,000.00, plus 1/2 of any balance of the intestate estate, if none of the decedent's surviving descendants are descendants of the surviving spouse.

(2) Each dollar amount listed in subsection (1) shall be adjusted as provided in section 1210.
Michigan Compiled Laws, 700.2102

 

Share of heirs other than surviving spouse

Any part of the intestate estate that does not pass to the decedent's surviving spouse under section 2102, or the entire intestate estate if there is no surviving spouse, passes in the following order to the following individuals who survive the decedent:

          (a) The decedent's descendants by representation.

          (b) If there is no surviving descendant, the decedent's parents equally if both survive or to the surviving parent.

          (c) If there is no surviving descendant or parent, the descendants of the decedent's parents or of either of them by representation.

          (d) If there is no surviving descendant, parent, or descendant of a parent, but the decedent is survived by 1 or more grandparents or descendants of grandparents, 1/2 of the estate passes to the decedent's paternal grandparents equally if both survive, or to the surviving paternal grandparent, or to the descendants of the decedent's paternal grandparents or either of them if both are deceased, the descendants taking by representation; and the other 1/2 passes to the decedent's maternal relatives in the same manner. If there is no surviving grandparent or descendant of a grandparent on either the paternal or the maternal side, the entire estate passes to the decedent's relatives on the other side in the same manner as the 1/2.
Michigan Compiled Laws, 700.2103

 

Requirement that heir survive decedent for 120 hours

An individual who fails to survive the decedent by 120 hours is considered to have predeceased the decedent for purposes of homestead allowance, exempt property, and intestate succession, and the decedent's heirs are determined accordingly. If it is not established by clear and convincing evidence that an individual who would otherwise be an heir survived the decedent by 120 hours, it is considered that the individual failed to survive for the required period. This section does not apply if its application would result in a taking of the intestate estate by the state under section 2105.
Michigan Compiled Laws, 700.2104

 

No taker; effect

If there is no taker under the provisions of this article, the intestate estate passes to this state.
Michigan Compiled Laws, 700.2105

 

Other intestacy statutes

There are additional statutes pertaining to the distribution of intestate property in the State of Michigan. To view those statutes, please click here.

 

[Reference - Michigan's Intestacy Laws]

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If you die without a valid will while residing in the State of Massachusetts, you are said to have died "intestate."  In order to determine who will receive your property if you die intestate, the State of Massachusetts has established a number of laws (known as "intestacy laws" or "laws of intestate succession.") The primary statutes comprising these intestacy laws, or laws of intestate succession, are set forth below. For a more complete list, see Massachusetts Intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession statutes.

 

 

Spouse’s share of property not disposed of by will

Section 1. A surviving husband or wife shall, after the payment of the debts of the deceased and the charges of his last sickness and funeral and of the settlement of his estate, and subject to chapter one hundred and ninety-six, be entitled to the following share in his real and personal property not disposed of by will:

(1) If the deceased leaves kindred and no issue, and it appearson determination by the probate court, as hereinafter provided, that the whole estate does not exceed two hundred thousand dollars in value, the surviving husband or wife shall take the whole thereof; otherwise such survivor shall take two hundred thousand dollars and one half of the remaining personal and one half of the remaining real property. If the personal property is insufficient to pay said two hundred thousand dollars, the deficiency shall, upon the petition of any party in interest, be paid from the sale or mortgage, in the manner provided for the payment of debts or legacies, of any interest of the deceased in real property which he could have conveyed at the time of his death; and the surviving husband or wife shall be permitted, subject to the approval of the court, to purchase at any such sale, notwithstanding the fact that he or she is the administrator of the estate of the deceased person. A further sale or mortgage of any real estate of the deceased may later be made to provide for any deficiency still remaining. Whenever it shall appear, upon petition to the probate court of any party in interest, and after such notice as the court shall order, and after a hearing thereon, that the whole amount of the estate of the deceased, as found by the inventory and upon such other evidence as the court shall deem necessary, does not exceed the sum of two hundred thousand dollars over and above the amount necessary to pay the debts and charges of administration, the court shall itself by decree determine the value of said estate, which decree shall be binding upon all parties. If additional property is later discovered, the right or title to the estate covered by such decree shall not be affected thereby, but the court may make such further orders and decrees as are necessary to effect the distribution herein provided for.

(2) If the deceased leaves issue, the survivor shall take one half of the personal and one half of the real property.

(3) If the deceased leaves no issue and no kindred, the survivor shall take the whole.

M.G.L., 190-1

 

Distribution of personal property

Section 2. The personal property of a deceased person not lawfully disposed of by will shall, after the payment of his debts and the charges of his last sickness and funeral and of the settlement of the estate, and subject to the preceding section and to chapter one hundred and ninety-six, be distributed among the persons and in the proportions hereinafter prescribed for the descent of real property.

M.G.L., 190-2

 

Descent of land, tenements or hereditaments

Section 3. When a person dies seized of land, tenements or hereditaments, or of any right thereto, or entitled to any interest therein, in fee simple or for the life of another, not having lawfully devised the same, they shall descend, subject to his debts and to the rights of the husband or wife and minor children of the deceased as provided in this and in the two preceding chapters and in chapter one hundred and ninety-six, as follows:

(1) In equal shares to his children and to the issue of any deceased child by right of representation; and if there is no surviving child of the intestate then to all his other lineal descendants. If all such descendants are in the same degree of kindred to the intestate, they shall share the estate equally; otherwise, they shall take according to the right of representation.

(2) If he leaves no issue, in equal shares to his father and mother.

(3) If he leaves no issue and no mother, to his father.

(4) If he leaves no issue and no father, to his mother.

(5) If he leaves no issue and no father or mother, to his brothers and sisters and to the issue of any deceased brother or sister by right of representation; and, if there is no surviving brother or sister of the intestate, to all the issue of his deceased brothers and sisters. If all such issue are in the same degree of kindred to the intestate, they shall share the estate equally, otherwise, according to the right of representation.

(6) If he leaves no issue, and no father, mother, brother or sister, and no issue of any deceased brother or sister, then to his next of kin in equal degree; but if there are two or more collateral kindred in equal degree claiming through different ancestors, those claiming through the nearest ancestor shall be preferred to those claiming through an ancestor more remote.

(7) If an intestate leaves no kindred and no widow or husband, his estate shall escheat to the commonwealth; provided, however, if such intestate is a veteran who died while a member of the Soldiers’ Home in Massachusetts or the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, his estate shall inure to the benefit of the legacy fund or legacy account of the soldiers’ home of which he was a member.

M.G.L., 190-3

 

Computation of degrees of kindred

Section 4. Degrees of kindred shall be computed according to the rules of the civil law; and the kindred of the half blood shall inherit equally with those of the whole blood in the same degree.

M.G.L., 190-4

 

Rights of persons born out of wedlock

Section 5. A person born out of wedlock is heir of his mother and of any person from whom his mother might have inherited, if living, and the descendents of a person born out of wedlock shall represent such person and take, by descent, any estate which such person would have taken, if living.

M.G.L., 190-5

 

Descent of estates of persons born out of wedlock

Section 6. If a person born out of wedlock dies intestate, such estate shall pass in accordance with the law of intestate succession except that the father and his kindred shall not be considered as relatives of the child born out of wedlock unless the child might have inherited from the father as provided in section seven.

M.G.L., 190-6

 

Intermarriage of parents of persons born out of wedlock

Section 7. A person born out of wedlock whose parents have intermarried and whose father has acknowledged him as his child or has been adjudged his father under chapter two hundred and seventy-three, chapter two hundred and nine C or under similar law of another jurisdiction shall be deemed legitimate and shall be entitled to take the name of his parents to the same extent as if born in lawful wedlock. If a decedent has acknowledged paternity of a person born out of wedlock or if during his lifetime or after his death a decedent has been adjudged to be the father of a person born out of wedlock that person is heir of his father and of any person from whom his father might have inherited, if living, and the descendents of a person born out of wedlock shall represent that person and take by descent any estate which such person would have taken, if living. A person may establish paternity if, within the period provided under section nine of chapter one hundred and ninety-seven for bringing actions against executors and administrators, such person either (a) delivers to the executor or administrator an authenticated copy of a judgment rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction during a decedent’s lifetime adjudging the decedent to be the father of a person born out of wedlock, or (b) commences, in a court of competent jurisdiction, an action in which the executor or administrator is a named party and in which such paternity is ultimately proved.

M.G.L., 190-7

 

Inheritance or succession by right of representation; posthumous children

Section 8. Inheritance or succession by right of representation is the taking by the descendants of a deceased heir of the same share or right in the estate of another person as their parent would have taken if living. Posthumous children shall be considered as living at the death of their parent.

M.G.L., 190-8

 

[Reference - Massachusetts' Intestacy Laws]

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