Who inherits if 2 spouses die together?

My wife and I have no children and will likely leave a small estate upon death. We had Wills drawn up 24 years ago with the usual per stirpes clause and have never updated them. I presume that all assets become the property of the surviving spouse in the event that one of dies before the other, but what happens if we die in a plane crash or the like? My wife has 2 siblings and together we have 7 nieces and nephews.

Asked on March 25, 2014 under Estate Planning, South Carolina

Answers:

Marjorie DeCastro-Hirsch / The Law Offices of DeCastro-Hirsch, P.A.

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the both of you die at the same time, and your Will does not provide for a division of assets other than to each other, then it will pass to the closest relatives, in this case her siblings. If you would like to equally distribute your assets between her siblings and your nieces and nephews, I would recommend you have a new Will prepared with said provision.


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.