What happens when someone dies without a Will?

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What happens when someone dies without a Will?

My brother passed recently leaving no Will. Has a wife, no kids, and my sister and I. Assets include a house (in his name only) valued at $235,000, CDs worth $10,000, bank account worth $10,000. No bills other than funeral expenses. How will his estate be divided? How is it decided who the administrator is?

Asked on October 19, 2010 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear of your brother's passing. 

Intestate means dying without a Will.  The rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.  Your brother's entire estate would go to his surviving spouse.  If there had not been a surviving spouse, and since there aren't any kids, you and your sister would have each received half of your brother's estate.

In cases of intestate succession, the court appoints an administrator as the personal representative.


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