Do children of deceased sibling inherit or only living siblings?

A deceased friend without a Will had a living brother and nephews of a deceased sister (she died 4 years earlier). According to state law, is the living brother the only heir or do the nephews take part?

Asked on May 27, 2016 under Estate Planning, New York


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

When someone dies with out a Will, they are said to have died "intestate". This means that the laws of the state in which they were domiciled as of the date of their death will control. Typically, in such a situation, the children of the deceased inherit, along with the deceased's surviving spouse. If the deceased was not married at the time of their death, then their children split the entire estate among themselves. And if one of the children predeceases their parent, then their children inherit that share. In other words, the deceased's grandchilren are due to what their parent would have been entitled to.

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