What happens if you have no will?

What happens if you have no will?

The following chart illustrates who becomes entitled to receive your estate when you do not have a will. As you can see, it will depend on who is your next of kin.

If you have a surviving spouse, but no children:

  • your spouse gets it all

If you have a surviving spouse, and one child:

  • your spouse gets the first $200,00.00
  • your spouse gets ½ of the remainder
  •  your child gets the other half

If you have a surviving spouse and at least two children:

  • your spouse gets the first $200,00.00
  • your spouse gets 1/3 of the remainder
  • your children share the other 2/3 of the remainder equally
  •  if any of your children die before you, and they have children of their own, those grandchildren get their deceased parent̓’s share, equally

If you have no surviving spouse but you have children: 

  • your children share the estate equally; if any of your children die before you, and they have children of their own, those grandchildren get their deceased parent̓’s share, equally

If you have no spouse and no children: 

  • your grandchildren share the estate equally, but if there are none:
  • then your parents share the estate equally; but if there are none surviving you:
    • then your brothers and sisters share the estate equally; but if there are none surviving you:
    • then your nieces and nephews share the estate equally; but if there are none surviving you:
    • then your aunts and uncles share the estate equally; but if there are none surviving you:
    • then your first cousins share the estate equally
    • and so on

 

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