If someone dies without a Will, who inherits?

My son, age 28, died 5 years ago without a Will. His house is still in his name. He had a 6 month old son but was not married. The child’s mother was not living with him at the time of his death but now does and has men living there. I don’ t think house payments are being made and it’s a wreck (grass 2 ft tall). She might have even gone back to AK and left a boyfriend to live in the house. No one will let either my wife or I enter. I furnished supplies and furniture for grandson. I don’ t think she did anything legally just spent insurance money as she pleased. Who has control of the house?

Asked on September 22, 2011 under Estate Planning, Louisiana


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the problems that have resulted.  When a person dies with out a Will it is known as dying "intestate".  Louisiana has an intestacy statute like any other state.  Now, if he died not being legally married then there is no community property issue and all the property in his estate is known as separate property.  That property - from what I can tell - i owned by your grandson in total.  Now, was there any estate proceeding doneat all?  That needs to be determined.  If the Mother was made guardian of the child and then of the child's estate, she controls the property for his benefit.  Now, you need to seek legal help with all of this as well as establishing your rights as grandparents under Louisiana law.  And Louisana has a statute that surely does allow that.  Good luck to you.

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