Who gets assets when someone dies without a Will?

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Who gets assets when someone dies without a Will?

My mother died 35 years ago and left custody of me and my sister to her

mother, my grandmother. She also left a large life insurance policy, death

benefits and money to her to help in raising us. She never had to work and

finished paying off my mom’s house and bought the property. She recently passed away with no Will and has a living daughter. Who gets what?

Asked on March 11, 2016 under Estate Planning, Alaska

Answers:

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

Answered 5 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 inherits her entire estate.  If there wasn't a surviving spouse, your grandmother's estate is divided equally among her surviving children and if there are deceased children who had children (grandchildren), those grandchildren inherit the share of the estate their deceased parent would have inherited had the deceased parent survived.
If your grandmother had three children (the surviving daughter, your mother and the cousin's parent) and your grandmother had no surviving spouse, her estate (including the house) would be divided as follows: 1/3 to the surviving daughter, 1/6 to you, 1/6 to your sister ( 1/6 + 1/6 = 2/6 = 1/3) and 1/3 to your cousin ( if the cousin's parent is deceased).  If the cousin's parent is alive, 1/3 to the cousin's parent and nothing to the cousin.


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