If my father passed away without a Will, who is entitled to share in his estate?

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If my father passed away without a Will, who is entitled to share in his estate?

He left behind processions but my sister has taken them and claimed them as hers. As his son, am I legally entitled to claim any part of his estate?

Asked on January 21, 2016 under Estate Planning, Mississippi

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

When someone dies without a Will, they die "intestate". This means that the "intestacy" or "succession" laws of the state in which the deceased was domiciled as of the date of their death will control. Typically, such an estate is divided 1/2-1/3 to the survivng spouse and the remainder to be split equally among th children of the deceased. If there is no spouse, then the children are each to receive an equal share of the assets (after creditors are paid, etc.).
At this point, a probate needs to be opened and a personal representative appointed by the court. If the estate is not too large, possibly a small estate admnistration can be done. In any event, your sister cannot legally lay claim to more than her share. For furthern information you can contact the county probate court or you can consult directly with a probate attorney.


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