My brother died in WI without a will. Will his estate go to probate and can his daughter take possession o f personal items?

UPDATED: Mar 22, 2018

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My brother died in WI without a will. Will his estate go to probate and can his daughter take possession o f personal items?

He is deeply in debt. condo is rented. What responsibility does his daughter have. He left no will or instructions.

Asked on March 22, 2018 under Estate Planning, Illinois


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

When someone dies without a Will, they die "intestate". This means that their estate is robated according to the laws of the state in which they were domiciled at the time of their death. First off, all creditor claims against the estate must be paid before any distribution of assest to heirs can be made. If there are no assets, then the debts of the deceased will extingush as a matter of law; no hier will be held liable for them. As for personal items, a family member can collect them; they should be distributed to the heirs. Typically, this is 1/2-1/3 to the suviving spouse, if any, and the rest to the children to the deceased. For further information you can check with the local probate court.

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 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.

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