My brother died in WI without a will. Will his estate go to probate and can his daughter take possession o f personal items?

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My brother died in WI without a will. Will his estate go to probate and can his daughter take possession o f personal items?

He is deeply in debt. condo is rented. What responsibility does his daughter have. He left no will or instructions.

Asked on March 22, 2018 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

When someone dies without a Will, they die "intestate". This means that their estate is robated according to the laws of the state in which they were domiciled at the time of their death. First off, all creditor claims against the estate must be paid before any distribution of assest to heirs can be made. If there are no assets, then the debts of the deceased will extingush as a matter of law; no hier will be held liable for them. As for personal items, a family member can collect them; they should be distributed to the heirs. Typically, this is 1/2-1/3 to the suviving spouse, if any, and the rest to the children to the deceased. For further information you can check with the local probate court.


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