What happens to an estate if the deceased died without a Will?

UPDATED: Feb 5, 2016

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What happens to an estate if the deceased died without a Will?

A husband passed away recently. His wife passed away about 10 years ago and she has 1 sister. He has 2 sisters and 1 brother living. There is no Will for either. Does the sister of the wife have any say in the estate?

Asked on February 5, 2016 under Estate Planning, Illinois


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The wife's sister has no claim to the husband's estate.
The rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.  Intestate means dying without a Will.
When the wife died intestate, the husband inherited her entire estate.
When the husband died intestate, if there were any children, they would receive equal shares of the husband's estate.  If there are any deceased children who had children (husband's grandchildren), they receive the share their deceased parent would have inherited had the deceased parent survived.
If there weren't any children and if the husband's parents are deceased, the husband's siblings each receive equal shares of the estate.

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