Do I have to share my late mother’s belongings with my siblings?

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Do I have to share my late mother’s belongings with my siblings?

My mother has recently died. I am her beneficiary and she did not leave behind a Will. Do I legally have to share any of her belongings with any siblings and/or family members?

Asked on April 26, 2011 under Estate Planning, Mississippi

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you do.  The way it all works is as follows: there is only a "beneficiary" if the deceased had a Will; if there is no Will then the deceased died "intestate", so there would be "heirs".  Under the majority of intestacy laws (they vary by state), the heirs share in the estate. How much depends on just what their relationship to the deceased was.  A surviving spouse typically gets 1/2-1/3 of an estate and the surviving children get 1/2 - 2/3. If there is no surviving spouse, then the children split the estate in equal shares.


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