If there was no Will do I have rights to half of what my father left?.

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If there was no Will do I have rights to half of what my father left?.

He recently passed awa, and left my 11 year old daughter beneficiary of his savings account; my half brother was put on his account as a joint bank account holder. My father passed about 6 weeks ago but no one informed me of this. I found out 3 weeks later and this by following my intuition and searching obituaries in the town in which he lived. I was told that I am entitled to check into this since I may have something coming to me. I feel my brother is not being fully honest.

Asked on February 3, 2015 under Estate Planning, Arizona

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

When someone dies without a Will, they are said to have have died "intestate". This means that the laws of the state in which they were domiciled as of the date of there death will control. In all states, "succession statutes" (i.e. intestacy laws) govern which heirs will inherit. Assuming there is no surviving spouse, then the next of kin will be the children of the deceased (i.e. you and your half-brother).

With respect to any other assets that have a designated beneficary (e.g. your father's savings account and bank account), they pass outside of the estate. This means that the beneficaries listed will take control of these assets outright.


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