When a love one dies but does not leave a Will, what are the rights of the mother and siblings if there is the deceased had a daughter?

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When a love one dies but does not leave a Will, what are the rights of the mother and siblings if there is the deceased had a daughter?

My brother died last month and his daughter and her mother immediately took his 3 vehicles. The family wanted to wait and settle everything after the funeral. I got a call from a loan company that my brother had me as beneficiary of his insurance on the loan. He had all 3 vehicles as collateral against the loan. Along with the checks I was given the titles to the vehicles. Do I have ownership to the vehicles or do his daughter keep them?

Asked on June 22, 2012 under Estate Planning, Mississippi

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  It is very difficult to understand the documents with out reading them.  When a person dies with out a Will then that person is said to have died "intestate" and the intestacy laws in Mississippi will apply.  Generally if a person dies leaving a child their siblings are then cut off from inheriting.  But there are methonds to pass posessions on to another person "outside the Will", meaning with out having to go through probate.  Being the beneficiary on a life insurance policy is one way.  The documents you speak of here must be read in accordance with state law to see if they have passed proeprly to you and can not be contested by your niece.  Please seek legal help.  Good luck.


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