If my single brother should die without a Will, who receives ownership of his house?

Asked on September 21, 2011 under Estate Planning, Minnesota


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

When someone dies without a Will they are said to have died "intestate". In such a case, their estate is distributed by their state's laws of succession (i.e. intestacy laws). Typically, the first heirs (i.e. relatives) to inherit are a surviving spouse and children, if any. The next line of heirs for inheritance purposes would be siblings.

So in your case, since your brother was unmarried and had no children (I'm assuming since you did not mention any), you and your siblings would be entitled to share in your brother'sassets; at least after estate debts have been paid or otherwise attended. Specifically, when a house is involved and there is a mortgage, the heirs can take over the mortgage payments, refinance, or sell the property.

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