Who are the legal heirs of someone who dies without a Will?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Who are the legal heirs of someone who dies without a Will?

My grandma died and my grandpa has been dead for quite some time. My grandparents had 2 children, my dad, who is still living and my aunt who died a couple years before my grandma. We have not been able to find a Will and would like to know who the legal heir is. My aunt has 2 living children, do they become her heirs to the estate along with my dad or does the estate go to just my dad who is the only living child of my grandparents?

Asked on July 29, 2011 Wisconsin

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

When someone dies without a Will they die "intestate". Accordingly the intestacy laws of the state where they were domiciled at the date of their death controls. In WI, if there is no spouse, everything to goes the deceased's "issue" to be distributed "per stirpes".

Issue means direct descendants, here your grandmother's children. Per stirpes means that everything goes to the children if they are all living, but if a child dies before the deceased parent, then the dead child's children will split their share. So in your case your father will receive 1/2 of your grandmother's estate and your cousins will split your aunt's share; since she had 2 children they will each be entitled to a 1/4 share of the estate.

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

When someone dies without a Will they die "intestate". Accordingly the intestacy laws of the state where they were domiciled at the date of their death controls. In WI, if there is no spouse, everything to goes the deceased's "issue" to be distributed "per stirpes".

Issue means direct descendants, here your grandmother's children. Per stirpes means that everything goes to the children if they are all living, but if a child dies before the deceased parent, then the dead child's children will split their share. So in your case your father will receive 1/2 of your grandmother's estate and your cousins will split your aunt's share; since she had 2 children they will each be entitled to a 1/4 share of the estate.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption