How is an estate divided among remaing heirs?

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How is an estate divided among remaing heirs?

My dad recently passed away; he was the last child heir of our grandfather. It is now my responsibility to settle the land issue so I can settle my dad’s affairs. However, my cousin killed her mother (which was my dad’s sister) and now I need to know if my cousin is entitled to receive her mother’s portion of the land. We are talking about 11 acres that she would inherit from our grandfather.

Asked on May 23, 2014 under Estate Planning, Alabama

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your dad.

Your cousin cannot inherit her deceased mother's share because a murderer cannot benefit from the crime by an inheritance.  Since the cousin does not inherit her mother's share, if the cousin has children, they would inherit that share.  If the cousin does not have children, the cousin's share of the estate is still part of the estate and is divided among the other beneficiaries.

If your dad did not leave a Will, the rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.  If your dad left a surviving spouse, she inherits the estate.  If there isn't any surviving spouse, the estate is divided equally among the surviving children.  If there are deceased children who had children, those grandchildren inherit the deceased parent's share.

If your dad left a Will, the Will is controlling.


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