dying without a will

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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dying without a will

my mums partner of 34 years has died but without making a will.she has been told she is not entitled to any money.what can she do

Asked on January 7, 2017 under Estate Planning, West Virginia


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done if your mom and her partner were not married. Under intestate succession which means dying without a will, the surviving spouse inherits the entire estate. If there is no spouse, the estate is divided equally between the partner's children. If there are no children, the estate is inherited by the parents or grandparents. If no parents or grandparents, the estate is inherited by the siblings. If no siblings, the next of kin inherits. If no next of kin, the estate escheats to the state.
The order of inheritance under intestate succession may vary from state to state, but the issue here is that your mom does not inherit anything if she and her partner were not married.

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