If my mother was to die tomorrow,what rights do I have as the sole heir to her estate?

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If my mother was to die tomorrow,what rights do I have as the sole heir to her estate?

My 2 nephews have taken care of her for the last several years since I live out of state. Mother has said she wants anything she has left when she dies to be split 3 ways among myself and my 2 nephews. When I asked my nephews or mother about a Will, they say it is taken care of. I don’t trust them.

Asked on January 26, 2016 under Estate Planning, Arkansas

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If your mother leaves a Will, the provisions of the Will are controlling in determining inheritance.
If your mother dies intestate (without a Will), the rules of intestate succession determine inheritance. 
Under intestate succession, if your mother has a surviving spouse, he inherits her entire estate.  If there isn't any surviving spouse, the estate is divided equally among her children.  If you are the only child, you would inherit her entire estate.  If you have deceased siblings who had children (your mother's grandchildren), they would inherit the share of the estate their deceased parent would have inherited had their deceased parent survived.
If you are the only child and your mother dies intestate and there isn't any surviving spouse, you inherit the entire estate and your nephews have no claim.


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