Does a deceaced loved one’s siblings have rights to his assets if there is a surviving descendant?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Does a deceaced loved one’s siblings have rights to his assets if there is a surviving descendant?

My grandfather passed away but he didn’t leave a Will. My mother was his only child but she preceded him in death. I am my mother’s only child. Therefore, I am my grandfather’s only living descendant. I have been appointed Personal Representative of the estate. My grandfather has siblings. I want to know my grandfather’s siblings’ rights to his assets? Am I responsible for giving his siblings an inventory list of his assets and allowing them to make claims?

Asked on July 24, 2017 under Estate Planning, Michigan


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

When someone dies "intestate", that means without a Will, the law of the state in which they were domiciled at their death will control. In MI, when a decedent dies without a surviving spouse or children but with grandchildren, then the grandchildren will split their parent's share of the estate as children of the decedent. In your case, since you grandfather only had 1 child and you are the only child of that child (i.e. you are the only child's child), then you are entitled to the entire estate (after all debts and other obligation have been paid).

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 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.

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