What happens to my brothers estate since he died without a Will?

My brother was married with 2 stepsons and died without a Will. Is his wife entitled to everything? Is his mother, brother or sister entitled to anything? Also, I co-owned 25 acres of land with him, what happens to it now?

Asked on June 26, 2016 under Estate Planning, North Carolina


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

When someone passess without a Will, they are said to have died "intestate". This means that the intestacy laws of the state in which they were domiciled when they died will control. Typically, the surviving spouse, if any, and the children (biological/adopted) of the deceased share in the estate (the exact split is determied by specific state law). The deceased's parents and/or siblings are not entitled to any of the estate unless the deceased died with no immediate heirs (i.e. a spouse and/or children).

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