What to do if my brother passed away and to the best of my knowledge there is no Will?

UPDATED: Feb 12, 2014

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What to do if my brother passed away and to the best of my knowledge there is no Will?

Now his roommate thinks that he is the executor of the estate. I think that this is more of a family matter to the effect that the county actually released the estate to me. I am wondering if he does have a claim?

Asked on February 12, 2014 under Estate Planning, Colorado


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your brother.

The roommate is NOT the executor of your brother's estate.  It is unlikely that your brother designated the roommate to be executor since your brother did not leave a Will.  Also, since the County released the estate to you, the roommate is clearly NOT the executor.  You are correct that this is a family matter.  If your brother had a small estate, probate is not required.

The roommate has no claim to your brother's estate. 

Since your brother died intestate (without a Will), the rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.  Under intestate succession, if there had been a surviving spouse, she would have inherited your brother's entire estate.  If there is no surviving spouse, your brother's children would have inherited equal shares of his estate.  If there are no surviving children, surviving grandchildren would have inherited the share of the estate their deceased parent would have inherited.  If there are no surviving grandchildren, your brother's parents would inherit his estate.  If there are no surviving parents, you and your siblings will inherit equal shares of your brother's estate.

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