Do grandchildren have any rights after grandparents death?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do grandchildren have any rights after grandparents death?

My grandfather took ownership of the house
after his parents died. He then married my
grandmother for 35 some years. I am 30. He
died with no will surprisingly. My grandmother
recently died also with no will. Her sisters are
trying to take ownership etc. Do they have the
right? My mom, my uncle and the grand kids of
my grandfather.. do we have legal rights?? My
grandmother is still on the house with my
grandfather. What do we do? Please help

Asked on April 20, 2019 under Estate Planning, Rhode Island


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

When there is no will, assets of the deceased pass according to "intestate succession." In your state, that means that if the deceased left behind children, the children--NOT the deceased's siblings--inherit. If all your grandmother's children are still alive, they share in the house and anyhing else owned by your grandmother equally. If any of her children passed away before her and the child who passed away had children (i.e. grandchildren) of her or her own, the deceased child's own children share in the deceased child's share (i.e. they split the share their deceased parent would have received). (If a child died without children of his/her own, that child's share is divided among the surviving children of your grandmother.) Your grandmother's sisters do NOT inherit unless the house had a deed which which was specifically "transfer on death" to them--i.e. the deed itself said they received the house when your grandmother died.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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