If my wife dies without a Will, who is the beneficiary?

There are 2 children; a daughter (41) by her first marriage and a son (25) by us. The son has Downs Syndrome.

Asked on July 22, 2014 under Estate Planning, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

When someone dies "intestate" (i.e. without a Will), the "succession" laws of the state in which they were domiciled as of the date of death will control. Typically, in such a situation such as yours, 1/2-1/3 goes to the surviving spouse with the remainder equally split among the children of the deceased. To find the exact statutory distribution in your jurisdiction, you can google "intestacy" and the name of your state. As for the child with Down's Syndrome, the court will establish a Trust for the child's benefit.

At this point, you may want to contact an attorney in your area for further information.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.