If there are no benefactors to an estate, what happens to the property? 7 Answers as of May 01, 2011

My sister did not write a will, and left no benefactors to her estate. I am concerned that my siblings are going to scavenge through her things and absolutely take advantage of the situation. Is there a way to make this a better and smoother system? How should we go about this?

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Law Office of Larry Webb
Law Office of Larry Webb | Larry Webb
Probate, in California any interested party can file a probate petition to administer the estate.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/1/2011
Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
There may not be a Will but there are always Beneficiaries. Without a Will your sister's estate is going to go through what is called "Intestacy" Distribution. Her Estate should be Probated and then distribution will be made according to the laws of the state in which she was a resident at the time of her passing.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 4/29/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
Hello, When your sister died without a Will, she died "Intestate" meaning without a Will. The best thing for you to do is go to the Surrogates Court in the county in which she resided and ask to file for an Administration Proceedings, which, if granted, would give you the right to oversee her Estate. However, by the time you get that underway, if she doesn't have any real estate, vehicles or bank accounts, stocks or bonds, it will likely be too late to matter much. Speak to an Estate Lawyer right away for more information.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/28/2011
The Schreiber Law Firm
The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
Even though someone dies without a will, each state has laws to govern who receives the estate of a deceased person who dies without a will, which are called intestate succession laws. Depending on what property there is and the state where you live, you may have to open a probate proceeding for the court to order the proper distribution. If the estate is not large enough to require a formal probate, you may wish to obtain the intestate succession laws for the state where your sister lived (and had property) to share with your siblings the required legal distribution. If the siblings choose to ignore the statute, you would likely have to bring a probate action to compel return and proper distribution of her property.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/29/2011
Apple Law Firm PLLC
Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
If there is no will then the Florida statutes dictate how to distribute the property. Generally it will go to the parents and if none to the siblings. You one of your siblings should talk to a Florida Probate Attorney about opening a probate to distribute her property properly.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 4/29/2011
    Meyer & Yee, LLP
    Meyer & Yee, LLP | Kent W. Meyer
    It is very rare not to have heirs. However if there are no heirs it goes to the State.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC
    Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC | Timothy G. Kearney
    If she left no will, her estate will pass by the laws of intestacy which will dictate where the assets will be distributed. You need to file an Application for Administration with the Probate Court in your area to protect the assets of the estate. I would recommend that you speak with an attorney who handles this type of matter. Should you need further assistance my contact information is listed below. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 4/28/2011
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