If you die intestate in one state but are a legal resident of another state, which state’s laws determine distribution of the estate?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If you die intestate in one state but are a legal resident of another state, which state’s laws determine distribution of the estate?

Asked on June 29, 2011 under Estate Planning, South Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The laws of the state in which a person was "domiciled" will control which state's intestacy will apply. A person's domicile is the geographic location of their permanent legal home; the place which they intend to use as their dwelling for an indefinite period of time and to which, when absent, they intend to return.  A determination of domicile is a matter of intention as indicated by actions. While a person may have more than one home or house, each person can have just one domicile.  According to the IRS, some of the factors used to classify a place as a domicile, rather than a residence are:

  • Where you pay state income tax,

  • Where you vote,

  • Location of property you own,

  • Length of residence, and

  • Business and social ties to the community

  •  

    Note: The above applies to the distribution of personal property. However, unlike personal property, real estate is controlled by the state of it geographic location.  The individual laws of each state will be applied to the real estate that is located in within its borders.


    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