(a) If there is a surviving spouse, the homestead, including a manufactured home which is the family residence, descends free from any testamentary or other disposition of it to which the spouse has not consented in writing or as provided by law, as follows:
(1) if there is no surviving descendant of decedent, to the spouse; or
(2) if there are surviving descendants of decedent, then to the spouse for the term of the spouse's natural life and the remainder in equal shares to the decedent's descendants by representation.
(b) If there is no surviving spouse and the homestead has not been disposed of by will it descends as other real estate.
(c) If the homestead passes by descent or will to the spouse or decedent's descendants or to a trustee of a trust of which the spouse or the decedent's descendants are the sole current beneficiaries, it is exempt from all debts which were not valid charges on it at the time of decedent's death except that the homestead is subject to a claim filed pursuant to section 246.53 for state hospital care or 256B.15 for medical assistance benefits. If the homestead passes to a person other than a spouse or decedent's descendants or to a trustee of a trust of which the spouse or the decedent's descendants are the sole current beneficiaries, it is subject to the payment of expenses of administration, funeral expenses, expenses of last illness, taxes, and debts. The claimant may seek to enforce a lien or other charge against a homestead so exempted by an appropriate action in the district court.
(d) For purposes of this section, except as provided in section 524.2-301, the surviving spouse is deemed to consent to any testamentary or other disposition of the homestead to which the spouse has not previously consented in writing unless the spouse files in the manner provided in section 524.2-211, paragraph (f), a petition that asserts the homestead rights provided to the spouse by this section.