If a couple died without a Will, what happens to their properties? 45 Answers as of April 01, 2013

If my parents died without a Will, what happens to their properties? They have 7 children.

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Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
Even split among the 7 children.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/1/2013
Edward L. Armstrong, P.C. | Edward L. Armstrong
If your parents died without wills the seven children are heirs at law. If they died at the same time under circumstances that rendered impossible to tell which of them died first each will be presumed to have survived the other. So it may be necessary to open two probate estates assuming not more than a year has gone by since death - i.e. you only have one year from the date of a person's death top open an estate. If no estates have been opened in the one year period you will need to have a determination of heir ship to clear title in favor of the siblings.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 3/8/2013
DOUGLAS A. TULL, P.C.
DOUGLAS A. TULL, P.C. | Douglas A. Tull
The state's intestacy laws dictate who gets what (most likely equal shares for all children).
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/8/2013
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
In Maryland, if there is a surviving joint title holder then their properties should pass pursuant to the deed; otherwise, it will likely pass pursuant to the state intestacy (no will) rules. The heirs at law who would inherit are the seven children (and possibly others if any children did not survive their parents).
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 3/7/2013
Law Office Of Victor Waid
Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
If one spouse dies first, then the surviving spouse receives the property assuming the property is held in joint tenancy or community property title. If the second spouse dies, and has not transferred the property to anyone else, then the children receive the property in equal shares. Advise you obtain probate counsel if booth spouses have died.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/7/2013
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    Potentially two probates are needed; if all seven children are children of the same two parents, and there are no step-children or children of other relationships, then for the first of your parents to die, all passes to the survivor. Then, when the survivor passes, all passes equally to the seven kids.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/7/2013
    The Wideman Law Center, P.C. | Susan Wideman Schaible
    Assets that have beneficiaries or co-owners on them will go to those individuals. Assets that are still in the parents name alone, will need to go to Probate. The laws of the State of Michigan will determine who gets the assets of the estate.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/6/2013
    Asset Protection and Elder Law Center
    Asset Protection and Elder Law Center | Shadi Alai-Shaffer
    Their estate/properties all have to be administered through the Probate Court. Contact an estate attorney to assist you and your siblings.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/6/2013
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    The property would be equally divided by the 7 children.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/6/2013
    S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
    The property of your parents would go to the children unless the assets were held in some other arrangement. When a person dies without a will he dies " intestate ". In such cases the property descends to the nearest in kin according to a statutory scheme of descent that exists in all states. In Pennsylvania, the nearest of kin after a husband and wife have passed are the children of the marriage. If all 7 of you are children of the marriage and none of the assets were held by a parent or parents in a relationship such as a T.O.D. (transfer on death) or joint account, their property would descend to their children (or, in the case of the death of one of the children, that child's children) to be divided equally among them. The transfer is not automatic and there might well have to be an administration of and estate. A personal representative would have to be appointed (by law all seven children would qualify to be an "administrator" or " administratrix " ) of the estate to gather the assets, pay the bills and taxes and to transfer the balance of the property to themself and the other siblings. You should speak further with an attorney about the specifics and to help with the administration. of your parents' property.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 3/6/2013
    Matthews, Campbell, Rhoads, Mcclure, & Thompson, PA | Vicki S Vasser
    If someone dies without a will, the laws of intestacy of the state in which the decedent resides will govern how properties are distributed. Laws of intestacy vary from state to state. You should seek counsel of licensed attorney who handles probate law in the state where your parents died.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 3/6/2013
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    Without a will the property will most likely go the heirs of the last to die. That will be natural and adopted children. You should consult a probate attorney to review all of the facts and advise you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/6/2013
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC | Barry D. Broome
    Georgia has a will done by the legislature. If both parents are dead then the children will inherit per stripes.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Law Office of Edward M. Burgh, APC | Edward M. Burgh
    It get divided among the children.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    If all their property is community property, or is held as joint tenants, the property would go to the survivor of them upon the first death. When the second of them dies, their property would go to the children equally, unless the surviving parent has placed any of the property in joint names with someone else, or has made some other disposition.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    DENKER & BUTLER, PLLC | RICK DENKER
    If your parents are both deceased, the properties they owned would be distributed according to their Will. If they did not have a will, the property will be distributed to heir heirs by the intestate succession laws of state they were living in at the time of their death, or the state the properties are located in. Normally, that would be to their children in equal shares.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
    After payment of their debts, the property is split among the children. If they are all natural children of both of them, the property is split equally among them. This does not include jointly owned property with a third party or other property with a beneficiary designation like life insurance and retirement plans.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    The estate would revert to the 7 children in equal shares. If there is real property involved or the estate is larger than $100,000, the estate must be probated (WA requirement).
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
    If your parents were residents of the State of California, the Probate Code designates who your parents heirs are. Are there any other children, besides the 7 you mentioned? How was titled held to the properties and are all the properties in California? Either one or both of your parents estates will need to go through probate. Contact a probate attorney in your area to discuss.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Granite Law
    Granite Law | Roy Weddleton
    It goes equally to the children
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
    Their assets would go to the children in equal portions.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    The Law Firm of Reed & Mansfield
    The Law Firm of Reed & Mansfield | Jonathan C. Reed
    Nevada like every other state has specific laws which say who gets what if a person dies without a small. The simple answer from what you have written is that the children inherit equally. However, there are many specific facts that could make for a different answer. Another big complicating factor is that these laws only apply to property which is part of the probate estate. Often bank accounts, and even real estate can be held in payable on death or transfer on death form that means that when the person dies the property goes to specific person, not according to the rules for probate estates.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
    The children take equally.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Law Offices of R. Christine Brown | R. Christine Brown
    Their estate goes via intestacy (goes to their next of kin). In your situation (assuming all 7 kids are from the same marriage), then each child gets 1/7 of the estate. If children are from different marriages, then the answer depends in which parent died and when they died.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law
    Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law | Martin Barnes
    Without a will, your parents property will pass according to Indianas intestacy statutes. These are statutes that determine what share of each type of property are to be transferred to particular beneficiaries. These statutes were written to cover the population on the whole and are not likely to match your parents wishes. I would advise your parents to visit with an Indiana attorney and prepare a will that reflects their unique intentions.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Randy M. Lish, Attorney at Law | Randy M. Lish
    The property would be divided among the 7 children in equal shares, after paying off any debts.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    Their 7 children will share in the property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Coulter's Law
    Coulter's Law | Coulter K. Richardson
    An administrator will need to be appointed. An administrator functions the same as an executor. The most likely candidate would be one of the children. Your parents arts would then be distributed pro rata amongst the seven children. You should hire a lawyer to help you navigate the probate process.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Richard J. Keyes Attorney at Law | Richard J. Keyes
    If a couple dies without wills, and everything is in joint names, upon the second parent to die, a probate estate needs to be opened up. One or more of the children can petition the probate court for letters of administration to be appointed personal representative. The probate court would want consents from all seven children in regard to who would be the personal representative(s). If all seven cannot consent, then the court would require a hearing to make the determination as to who would be the personal representative. Please note that the person(s) appointed personal representative have to post a bond in the amount of the personal property. You need good credit to get bonded as most bonding companies go by credit scores. If you do not have good credit, then do not request to become personal representative. The real and personal property goes through probate. The personal representatives gather up the assets, pay the debts and also do the taxes. When the estate is closed, the seven children share equally.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    GOLD & ASSOCIATES, P.C.
    GOLD & ASSOCIATES, P.C. | KENNETH GOLD
    Unless other names are on the assets, they will have to go through probate before going to the kids.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    First, someone, probably one of the children will file for probate. Then the assets are collected, a notice to creditors given and the debts paid. After that, assets are sold and divided 7 ways.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Gateway Legal Group | Christian J. Albut
    In California you would have to file a intestate probate and each of the children would end up with a share of the estate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    In Florida, the Florida statutes makes provisions for persons that dies without will. In this case all the properties owned by your parents will be split 7 ways. Each of their offspring will have a 1/7th interest in each property. But you must probate their estates in court.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    It would be distributed according to the intestacy laws of the state where the property is located. As each state varies as to who the heir would be, and as both are deceased, you will need to consult a probate attorney in that state.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    All assets will pass via the law of intestacy. This means that all children will receive equal shares in most cases. For further information, consult with an attorney specializing in estates.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Dennis E. Valentine Law Firm
    Dennis E. Valentine Law Firm | Dennis Valentine
    Every state has a law that distributes a person's estate if they die without a will. In Colorado a surviving spouse receives at least 50% plus a set amount of the estate based upon the size of the estate. If there was no surviving spouse, the children would split the estate. That is a very quick summary. An attorney would need to know more about your parent's assets and whether any of the children were step children and other factors to advise you about your specific situation.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Winnick Ruben Hoffnung Peabody & Mendel, LLC | Daniel N. Hoffnung
    Each estate must be addressed separately Ultimately, if there is no will for either, their assets would be shared equally amongst their kids (assuming all seven were kids of both parents).
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Ben T. Liu Law Office
    Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
    You will need to probate under the intestate laws.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski
    Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski | Gerald A. Bagazinski
    They have died intestate. If any of the assets are not in joint name or without beneficiary designations, a probate estate should be opened. A Personal Representative will be appointed who will have the power to sell and distribute assets as part of the ordinary administration of the Estate.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    It passes via probate to the children of the last spouse to die. Plus one share for each child who predeceased and left issue.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    The properties will pass under the statutory scheme of their state of residence, most probably equally to their children.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    First, if their collective estate is worth more than $150,000, the estate will need to be probated. Through probate, a person will be named administrator and will have the power to decide whether to liquidate the estate and distribute certain assets in kind. Eventually, the estate will be divided in 7 equal parts and distributed to the children.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Reger Rizzo & Darnall LLP | Kathleen DeLacy
    You need to check the intestate laws in your state. In Delaware, if no spouse but children are same for each spouse, it would pass to children
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 3/5/2013
    Jeffrey W. Wilkinson, P.C.
    Jeffrey W. Wilkinson, P.C. | Jeffrey W Wilkinson
    The State of Utah dictates what happens to the estate assets. These are called the laws of intestate succession. You should consult an attorney regarding how these laws would apply to your specific situation.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 3/5/2013
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