If someone passes away without leaving a Will, what happens?

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If someone passes away without leaving a Will, what happens?

Asked on January 29, 2013 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

When someone dies without a Will they are said to have died "intestate". According the intestacy or "succession" laws of the state of which there were a resident at the time of their passing will apply. ""Heirs", that is next of kin, will inherit. As a general rule, the state will pass 1/2-1/3 to a surviving spouse, if any, with the remainder to the deceased's children. If there is no spouse or children, then it typically passes first to the parents, then siblings, then grandparents. then aunts/uncles, and so on. Again, the exact share to be inherited and the exact order of inheritance varies from state-to-state.


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