Who is closer in a blood line for a will – a full first cousin, or a half aunt?

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Who is closer in a blood line for a will – a full first cousin, or a half aunt?

I live in CT. My cousin lives in TX. I have a first cousin who just passed away. His mother and my mother, (plus another aunt) were full sisters – all shared the same parents. They are now all deceased. From these 3 sisters, myself, and 2 other cousins, remain. These 3 women had 3 other younger sisters, who are their half sisters (share the same mother). These 3 younger sisters are all still living, with children, grandchildren, etc. If there is no Will, and my cousin’s estate goes to the closest living relatives, who is closer in the blood line – me (and cousins from the other aunt), or the half-aunts? I am a full blood relative of my cousin, plus I was very close to his mother, and his sister (who has also passed).

Asked on July 31, 2010 under Estate Planning, Connecticut

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for your loss.  When a person does without a Will then it is called dying "intestate."  Every state has intestacy laws that govern how their estate will be divided.  Some states do not differentiate between whole and half relations.  Some states do.  Connecticut does not distinguish. So you and your "half cousins" and the "half sisters" are considered the same for purposes of these statutes. 

If I understand your question correctly, the decedent (your cousin) had no wife, no living parents and no siblings.  Then, if I read the statute correctly, the estate is distributed EQUALLY to the "next of kin" in equal degree.  In this situation it may be that the court will determine who is to share in what.  Someone needs to be appointed as the Personal Representative of the estate.  If you feel that you and your cousin were very close then maybe you would want to apply.  Seek legal counsel in your area.  Good luck.


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