How do you determine how an estate is to be divided?

UPDATED: Sep 3, 2014

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How do you determine how an estate is to be divided?

My deceased grandparents, and recently deceased uncle, owned a home with only their names on it. There is no Will, however my father being the oldest and my 2 aunts are the living siblings. We went to surrogate court and had my father made executor of the estate. My grandfather passed 21 years ago, my aunt and grandmother both passed 10 years ago and my uncle just passed last month. Now who is entitled to the shares of the estate?

Asked on September 3, 2014 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  The answer here depends on a few things.  How was the house held between them on the deed. You need to take the deed to a lawyer to let you know if they held with rights of survivorship or tenants in common.  It also depends on if your Uncle was married and had kids. If they all died without a Will then they all died "intestate" and the intestacy statute governs distribution in all deaths, unless there was right of survivorship on the deed.  Good luck. 

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