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Helping You Navigate Complex Legal Issues

Detailing the descent of ownership of your home

Gregory A. Lang

For a good deal of the clients with whom we work here at The Lang Law Office, the most valuable assets they have are their homes. If you fall into this category, then you no doubt have concerns about how your home will be handled when you are gone. You may need your family to be able to retain ownership of it, or be able to manage its sale in order to guarantee their financial security. Either way, the State of Minnesota has laws on the books specifically related to this issue.

The rules regarding the ownership of your home following your death are outlined in section 4 of the State’s Uniform Probate Code. If you have provisions in your will or a trust detailing who is to receive the home, those supersede any other disposition guidelines. If not, then ownership of the home automatically passes to your surviving spouse. Once he or she has died, then it descends to your surviving children, with ownership divided into equal shares amongst each. If you have no surviving spouse, then the home is treated the same as any other real estate asset.

You also will want to consider any liabilities that may be attached to your home depending upon who you leave it to and how you want its ownership transitioned. If you leave it to your spouse or any of your descendants in your will, then it is exempt from any claims that creditors may have against you. However, that is not the case if you leave it to someone outside of your family. The same holds true if you transition it through a trust of which your spouse or descendants are not the sole beneficiaries.

More information on transitioning assets to descendants can be found on our site. 

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