Having no will. What will happen to property?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Having no will. What will happen to property?

My mother inherited her mother’s house
and a farm in 2004. My mother’s health
is declining and she has no will. She
has been married to my stepdad since
1975. She has 6 living children whom the
youngest two are my stepdads children.
If my mother passed away without a will,
who inherits my grandmother’s house and
her farm that was left to my mother? We
live in Wisconsin.

Asked on November 12, 2018 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

When there is no will, her estate (all the property, money, assets, she owns at time of death) will pass by "intestate succession" (the rules for who gets what when there is no will. In your state (WI), that means that her spouse (your step father) keeps his share of "community property" (to oversimplify: what was acquired by the couple--that is, by either member--during marriage, other than by inheritance; he has a 1/2 share in it), plus 1/2 her "separate property" (what he had pre-marriage PLUS anything inherited solely by her during marriage); her children will share in equal shares the other 1/2 of her community and separate property. This will result in multiple people all being part or joint owners of the home. Given how many people are involved, and so how complicated or contentious this could become, you are advised to retain a probate attorney to help when the time comes.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption