If my mother owns her home and does not have a Will, what happens if she passes away?

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If my mother owns her home and does not have a Will, what happens if she passes away?

I live in the home and take care of her. I’m the one that will make any decision for if she is not capable.

Asked on December 6, 2011 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your mother does not leave a Will, the rules of intestate succession will determine inheritance.  Intestate means dying without a Will. 

Under intestate succession, if there is a surviving spouse, he would inherit your mother's estate which would include the house and anything else she owns.  If there is no surviving spouse, your mother's estate would go to her children.  If there is more than one surviving child, the estate would be divided equally among them.  If you have deceased brothers or sisters who had surviving children ( your mother's grandchildren), the grandchild would inherit the share of your mother's estate that would have gone to your sibling had the sibling survived. 

For example, if you have two surviving siblings, you and your two siblings would each inherit a 1/3  interest in your mother's house/estate.  If one of your two siblings is deceased, but is survived by a child, that child (your mother's grandchild) would inherit the 1/3 interest in the house/estate that would have gone to your sibling had the sibling survived.  If the deceased sibling was survived by two children; each of those two children would have a 1/6 interest in your mother's estate representing the 1/3 that their parent would have inherited ( 1/6 + 1/6 = 2/6= 1/3).


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