What to do if my brother hasa terminal illness but no Will?

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What to do if my brother hasa terminal illness but no Will?

He lives out of state.

Asked on March 3, 2015 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If he dies without a will, his assets will pass according to the laws of intestate succession, or the rules for who inherits what, when there is no will, in the state he lives in. Without knowing the exact state (you just write that he lives "out of state") it's impossible to say who exactly will get what, but his estate would typically go first to a spouse, if married, then to children, then parents, then siblings--though again, the exact order and exact percentage each gets varies by state. If your brother wants to have control over who gets what, he needs to execute a will, which he can do--having a terminal illness does not prevent someone from executing a willl. If he wants to do that, he is advised to retain an attorney, to make sure the will is drawn up propertly--technical errors can render a will invalid.


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