Minnesota Minors | Property Rights of Children and Teens

The following laws apply to minors in Minnesota. The following information and education, but is not legal advice. When faced with a legal issues, you should talk with an attorney.

Control of a Minor’s Earnings or Property Minor’s Contracts

A parent or guardian may claim a minor’s wages by notifying the minor’s employer. Otherwise, the minor has control of his or her own wages. Minn. Stat. § 181.01

A minor may control his or her own savings account. Minn. Stat. § 48.30

Minor’s Contracts

A minor may make a contract but may choose not to complete it or disaffirm it within a reasonable time after reaching the age of majority, unless it involves the purchase of necessities, like food or shelter. Miller v. Smith, 2 N.W. 942 (Minn. 1879); Kelly, Jr. v. Furlong 261 N.W. 460 (1935). In most cases, any benefits or value received through a contract must be restored to the other party before the minor is released from the obligations of the contract.

Wills

A minor may not make a will. Minn. Stat. § 524.2-501

Inheritance from Parents

If there is no will, an adopted individual has a legal right to a share of the adopted parents’ estate but not to the birth parents’ estate, unless the individual was adopted by a stepparent. Special provisions exist to determine inheritance where a child is conceived by means of assisted reproduction. Minn. Stat. §§ 524.2- 118; 524.2-119; 524.2-120

If a person does not make a will, his or her children share the estate with the surviving spouse, if that spouse was married to the children’s other parent. If no spouse survives, the children share the estate among themselves. Minn. Stat. §§ 524.2-102; 524.2-103

If parents were not married to each other and did not leave wills, the children inherit from either parent. Parentage may be established under the Parentage Act. Minn. Stat. §§ 524.2-116; 524.2- 117

A parent who makes a will may intentionally disinherit a child. If it seems a child was omitted from a will by error or because of being born after the parent’s death, the child may still be entitled to an inheritance as provided in this statute. Minn. Stat. §§ 524.2-108; 524.2- 302

Uniform Transfers to Minors Act

Any kind of property (money, real estate, stocks, etc.) may be transferred to a custodian for a minor’s benefit. This kind of custodianship lasts until the beneficiary turns 21 (or 18, in some cases). Minn. Stat. §§ 527.21 to 527.44

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The content of this and any related posts has been adopted or copied from the Minnesota House of Representatives Research Department’s December 2010 publication, Youth and the Law – A Guide for Legislators, written as a collaborative effort by the Research Department’s legislative analysts.