If my grandmother passed away without a written Will and then my mother died, who inherits my mother’s portion of the estate?

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If my grandmother passed away without a written Will and then my mother died, who inherits my mother’s portion of the estate?

She has 2 children, 1 of whom was my late mother who was married at the time of her death. Will the estate be split between my stepfather and my uncle or between my uncle and my mother’s 3 children?

Asked on December 17, 2014 under Estate Planning, Mississippi

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your grandmother and your mother.

Since your grandmother died without a Will, the rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.  Intestate means dying without a Will.

Under intestate succession, if your grandmother had a surviving spouse, he would have inherited the entire estate.  If there wasn't a surviving spouse, your grandmother's estate would be divided equally between her children (your mother and your uncle).  

If your mother had predeceased your grandmother, your mother's share of the estate would have been inherited by her three children.

Since your mother did NOT predecease your grandmother and your mother had a surviving spouse, if your mother did not leave a Will, your mother's share of the eatate is inherited by her surviving spouse.  If there had not been a surviving spouse, your mother's three children would have inherited your mother's share of the estate.

To summarize the above, your mother and uncle each inherited one half of your grandmother's estate.  If your mother died without a Will after inheriting from your grandmother, your mother's estate is inherited by her surviving spouse.  

If your mother had predeceased your grandmother, your mother's share of your grandmother's estate would have been inherited by her three children.  Each child would have received 1/6 because 1/6+ 1/6 + 1/6 = 3/6 = 1/2.  The other 1/2 was inherited by your uncle.

Since your mother survived your grandmother, your mother and uncle each inherited 1/2 of your grandmother's estate.  When your mother died intestate (without a Will), she had a surviving spouse, who inherits your mother's entire estate.  If there hadn't been a surviving spouse, your mother's entire estate would have been divided equally among her three children (each child would have received 1/3).

If your mother had left a Will, the provisions of the Will would have been controlling in determining inheritance.

 


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