What rights do we have?

My daughter’s grandfather recently passed away, she is the next of kin, as her father was an only child, and he has passed as well. In his last 2 years her grandfather lived with his niece, and shared a checking/savings account. I don’t believe there is a Will. Can you help with the next step?

Asked on October 3, 2017 under Estate Planning, Illinois


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Assuming that there is no Will, then as the only surviving child of an only child, your daughter is the sole heir to her grandfather's estate. This means that all of his assets are no part of the estate. The exception being, any 401k, pension, bank account(s), etc, that either have a named beneficiary or are jointly owned. Accordingy, the neice will keep the proceeds of the checking/savings account. If, however, there was  a Will then its terms will control. At this point, you should consult with a probate attorney as to your daughter's rights.

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