If someone dies without a spouse or any children,how are their assets divided?

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If someone dies without a spouse or any children,how are their assets divided?

My brother passed away while living with my sister; he has no spouse, children only 5 siblings. How does the money is his bank account get divided?

Asked on July 20, 2011 Massachusetts

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am assuming that he died "intestate" (i.e. without a Will). In that case, if there is no surviving spouse or no children then the deceased's estate would be equally divided among their siblings. However, if there was a joint account holder on the bank account that changes things. If the account simply read in both account holders names, then the surviving account holder would be entitled to 1/2 of the money in the account. If the account was held in both of their names followed by wording such as "joint tenants with rights of survivorship, then the account belongs entirely to the remaining account holder. In other words, the money in it does not become a part of the probate estate.


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