What if your siblings are making decisions regarding your mother’s estate but there was no Will?

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What if your siblings are making decisions regarding your mother’s estate but there was no Will?

Asked on July 14, 2013 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss. If a person dies with out a Will they are said to have died "intestate" and the intestacy laws in the state in which they resided at the time of their death will apply to the distribution of their estate.  Now, anything jointly held passes to the joint owner at the time of death. And any asset that has a valid designation of beneficiary (like a life insurance policy) passes directly to the person listed.  If there is no Will listing an Executor then any of you can apply to be listed as the Personal Representative of the estate.  That person would be in charge of probate.  If all of you agree on various issues that is really fine.  It is only if there are disagreements then there could be problems.  Regardless some one needs to be the PR to distribute assets.  Good luck.


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