If my mother passed away recently without a Will, what happens to her belongings?

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If my mother passed away recently without a Will, what happens to her belongings?

I have a sibling living who is now trying to control things since I’m out of state. Who is entitled to handle her affairs and her bank accounts?

Asked on September 29, 2015 under Estate Planning, New Jersey

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Since your mother died "intestate" i.e. without a Will, her estate will be divided according to the laws of the state in which she was domiciled as of the date of her death. Typically, in such a situation, the deceased's property is split 1/2-1/3 to their surviving spouse, if any, and the remainder to their children.
However, first a personal representative like an executor in the case where there is a Will must be appointed to administer the estate. A family member or close friend can make application the the appropriate probate court to seek appointment.
Here is a link to a site that you will find to be of help
http//www.courts.ca.gov/8865.htm
Also, each county typically has it's own website set-up with instructions as well.
 


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