If my godmother died, do I have a right to any of her assets she left behind?

UPDATED: May 21, 2012

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If my godmother died, do I have a right to any of her assets she left behind?

She did not have a Will?

Asked on May 21, 2012 under Estate Planning, Michigan


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your godmother.

You probably won't be inheriting any of her assets because since she did not leave a Will, the rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.  Intestate means dying without a Will.

Under intestate succession, if your godmother had a surviving spouse, her entire estate would go to him.  If there is no surviving spouse, her children (biological and adopted) would divide her estate equally.  If there is a deceased child, who had children (your godmother's grandchildren), those grandchildren would inherit the share their deceased parent would have received.  If there are no surviving children, the estate would go to your godmother's parents.  If they have not survived, then the estate would go to your godmother's brothers and sisters and would be divided among them.  If there are no surviving siblings, the next of kin would inherit the estate.  If no next of kin, the estate escheats to the state.

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