If an aunt passed away without a Will and their spouse was deceased, who inherits the estate?

UPDATED: Aug 13, 2013

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If an aunt passed away without a Will and their spouse was deceased, who inherits the estate?

Her sister was also deceased; the aunt only had only has nieces and nephews.

Asked on August 13, 2013 under Estate Planning, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Typically a deceased's separate property goes to their children and surviving spouse, if any. If there are none, then their parents would inherit if they are still living, if not, then their siblings, if any. If neither parents or siblings are alive, then to the children, if any, of thier deceased spouse. If none, then the next of kin would inherit. In your case this appears to be your aunt's nieces and nephews (assuming that her husband left no children); her estate would be distributed in equal shares to them.

Here is the applicable statute covering intestate succession (i.e. inheritance rights when someone dies without a Will) in CA: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=prob&group=06001-07000&file=6400-6414

To get more information as to all of this, you may want to consult directly with a probate attorney.


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