What if a written Will cannot be found?

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What if a written Will cannot be found?

Who gets the deceased’s money?

Asked on December 11, 2014 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If there is no written will (or no will that can be located), the deceased's assets (not just money, but property, belongings, brokerage accounts, etc.) will pass according to the laws of intestate succession--the rules for who gets what when there is no will. Generally, it goes to closest legal family (i.e. not significant others or fiances) first, then outward from there. For example, in your state, if there are children but no spouse, the children get (and share, if there's more than one) everything; if there's a surviving spouse but no children and no surviving parents, the spouse gets all; if there's a spouse and children of that spouse, spouse gets first $30,000 and 1/2 the rest--children get the other 1/2 of the rest; if there's a spouse and children of the deceased not with that spouse, the spouse gets 1/2 and the children 1/2; if there are no children but a spouse and parent, spouse gets first $30,000 and 1/2 the rest, the parents the other 1/2 of the rest.  Siblings only inherit if there are no spouse, children, or parents.


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