How is an estate’s assets divided when someone without a spouse or children dies without a Will?

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How is an estate’s assets divided when someone without a spouse or children dies without a Will?

My uncle had a significant estate that is to be distributed to his sister (my aunt) and his brother (my father). Since my father is deceased, my 3 siblings and I have been told we have become inheritors. Does my aunt – the administrator – determine the amount we each receive?

Asked on January 19, 2012 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your uncle and your father.

Your aunt, the administrator, does NOT determine the amount of your inheritance.  The amount of your inheritance is determined by the rules of intestate succession.  Intestate means dying without a Will. 

Since your father has four surviving children.  Each surviving child will inherit 1/4 of your father's share.  If you have any deceased siblings who had children, those surviving children (your nieces and nephews) will inherit their deceased parent's share which will be divided equally among them.


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