Who is required to take care of an estate if there was no will? 13 Answers as of July 29, 2011

If a sibling dies without a will, are other family members required to take care of the estate? Or can they say they don't want to be involved and walk away?

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Property and Estate Law, PLC
Property and Estate Law, PLC | Alisa Lachow-Thurston
If the person that pass had things that need to be disposed of the state will assign a person to manage the estate and for that charge a fee, especially when no one wants to do it voluntarily. When a person dies in Virginia without a will is said to have dies intestate. The estate passes to the children and the wife, if any, then to the parents, if any, and then to the siblings, if any.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 7/29/2011
Ashman Law Office
Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
There is no requirement that a potential heir come forward to probate an estate.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 7/29/2011
The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A.
The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A. | Laurie E. Ohall
If someone dies without a will, they die intestate. Florida has intestacy laws that state who is entitled to property of the intestate decedent and who has priority to serve as the personal representative (person who administers the estate) over the estate. Generally, the order of priority as to who serves as P.R. falls to spouse, or if no spouse, to person selected by the majority of heirs.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/29/2011
Majors Law Firm, P.C.
Majors Law Firm, P.C. | M. Jason Majors
In Wyoming, no family member is required to administer an estate.
Answer Applies to: Wyoming
Replied: 7/29/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
They do not have to do anything, unless the deceased sibling had assets that require an Administrator's deed to transfer, such as a house or a car or stocks and bonds. If its just debt, then nobody has to do anything.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/2/2011
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC | Sam L. Levine
    In Georgia, if someone dies without a will, they are said to die "intestate" versus "testate" in which there is a will in full force & effect. The real & personal property is distributed in accordance with State law, which typically mirrors how someone would devise their property if they had a will. That said - always better to have a will so that your property & wishes are followed exactly the way you want them to.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/1/2011
    Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC
    Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC | Timothy G. Kearney
    Generally a sibling has no duty to administer the estate. If here are no relatives willing to probate the matter, a probate court will appoint an administrator. Any assets would then pass by the laws of intestacy. If you need further assistance my contact information is below.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/1/2011
    Law Office of Larry Webb
    Law Office of Larry Webb | Larry Webb
    No one is "required to" take care of the estate. No will is an "intestate estate". Any interested person can file a petition to administer the estate. The court will appoint the public guardian to handle the estate if no one volunteers. Do not just handle things without court authority. Consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2011
    Meyer & Yee, LLP
    Meyer & Yee, LLP | Kent W. Meyer
    They can walk away and the state gets their assets. If married the spouse could be responsible.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    No person is required to have any involvement if they do not want any portion of the estate, nor do they have any obligation to administer any estate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    No sibling is required to do anything, if there is nothing of value in the estate, you can simply do noting and it will be abandoned.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/1/2011
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