If my married brother recently passed without a Will, what rights do his hiers have regarding his property, life insurance and 401K accounts?

Asked on December 22, 2017 under Estate Planning, Texas


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First of all, when someone dies without a Will, they die "intestate". This means that the laws of the state in which they were domiciled when they died will control. Typically, in such a situation, assets are split between the surviving spoue and the children, if any, of the deceased. Further, certin assests such as life insurance proceeds and 401k accounts pass outside of probate which means that the listed beneficiaries take them outright.

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