If my father just purchased a house that my mother and I reside in but he passed away last week without a Will, what happens to the house since it was only in his name?

Asked on July 21, 2015 under Estate Planning, Indiana


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your father.

Since your father died without a Will, the rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.  Intestate means dying without a Will.

Under intestate succession, the surviving spouse (your mother) inherits your father's entire estate which includes the house.

If there had not been a surviving spouse, your father's estate would have been divided equally among his children.  If there had been a deceased child who had children (your father's grandchildren) they would inherit the share their deceased parent would have inherited had the deceased parent survived.

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