If a person dies intestate, who would be the righful heirs if the person has no spouse, no children and his parents are both deceased?

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If a person dies intestate, who would be the righful heirs if the person has no spouse, no children and his parents are both deceased?

Upon reviewing state law, I believe in the instance of someone dieing intestate, no spouse, no children and no living parents, the siblings of the deceased would be entitled to the estate. My brother, who is executor of the estate is saying the descendants of my other deceased siblings would be entitled to shares as well. Would just the siblings be entitled or is he correct and the surviving descendants of my deceased siblings be entitled as well?

Asked on August 30, 2012 under Estate Planning, West Virginia

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

This is an issue of per stirpes versus per capita.  You need to check your probate law to see if the state follows per stirpes or per capita.  Per stirpes would mean that if there were three siblings and only two are living but the one who died has a child, then the deceased's sibling's share would go to that child. Per capita essentially means only among the living siblings and the deceased sibling's child is out of luck.


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