Inheiritance Question

jannieFebruary 25, 2011

My husband has 2 sisters, one married and one single (never married. no kids). The single sister inheirited approx $200,000 when their widowed mother died. Now this sister has some health issues, obesity,diabetes and high blood pressure. she refuses to diet or take medication. So I think it's likely she'll be the first sibling to pass away. Since she has no living parents or spouse and never had children, to whom would her estate go? Her two siblings? I don't know if she ever made a will, but I pretty much doubt it. She does have four nieces and nephews.? Would they inheirit? Is there a formula or general rule ? Just general questions. Hope I don't come off sounding greedy. Just wondering.

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duluthinbloomz4

Well, although 200k sounds like a lot - if that's the bulk of her estate, I probably wouldn't worry too much about anyone inheriting much of anything. Living today is costly and so are one's final bills and expenses.

If there is a will, it will go through probate and most likely be distributed according to her wishes once all bills, claims, and final expenses are satisfied.

But the rules for determining who gets property distributed
from an intestate (without a will) estate vary from state to state.

A likely scenario...An adminsitrator would be appointed to handle any and all claims against the estate, then the remains of the estate would be divided among the issue of her parents (her brothers and sisters, then her nieces and nephews, etc.) since the parents are deceased and she has no spouse or children.

But, again, all states have different rules.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 9:30AM
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LuAnn_in_PA

She might have made a will, leaving everything to the local dog shelter.
That actually happened here, and the person who expected to inherit the money tried unsuccessfully to break the will.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 12:02PM
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sushipup1

Jannie, she might just outlive all the others. I wouldn't worry about her at all.

Yes, we should all have wills and more importantly, powers of attorney and health-care directives. But I probably would not bring it up at all, not without seeming to be somewhat judgmental and morbid.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 12:47PM
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colorcrazy

My MIL was a hoarder and compulsive shopper. She cleared $200K when she sold her house in 1998 and it was all gone by the time she died in 2004. My husband and his two brothers each got $300.

We are saving from our salaries and are not expecting to inherit anything. Life and relationships are more peaceful that way.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 11:39PM
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jannie

Thanks for the insights. DH and I made up wills years ago, leaving everything to our 2 children and naming guardians for them (very important because our kids were way under 18 at the time). I think it's time to review our wills. Anything can happen.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 10:44AM
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lafdr

Wow, I have a very similar question. Anyone out there have an answer?

The estate will be whatever is left after living expenses and debt. Regardless of the size of the estate the question still applies, even if it is only 1000$. Obviously if there is a valid will, that would take precedence. And any assets titled in joint tenancy, or with specified beneficiaries, or TOD or POD would also not be in question.

SO my question,which I think is the same question: If a single person with no spouse or children or living parents dies without a will, with assets in their own name, how is the estate divided between her siblings and nieces and nephews? Are they treated equally and the estate is divided between siblings, nieces and nephews equally? Or are siblings or nieces/nephews somehow given more or all??

In my case it is an aunt, she has one brother and his 2 sons, which are her 2 biological nephews. If the law would do what she wants anyway, which is to divide equally between the 3, it is more ok if she never finishes her will. But if the law would give all to her brother or all to just the nephews, it could help me nudge her to finish her will. (I am not one of the direct beneficiaries, but my husband is one of her 3 relatives and I am the one who helps with paperwork. There are a great niece and great nephew, but I was assuming they are too distant to factor in, or am I wrong?)

Again, this question is about how the law recognizes brother versus nephews as far as heirs without a will in place.

Thank you for any more info!!

The state that applies in my case is Washington state if anyone knows.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 12:05PM
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jkom51

Really, all you have to do is Google "per stirpes Washington".....

Here is a link that might be useful: Google search

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 12:09PM
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lafdr

jkom51,
thank you for the link. I had found it and read it already. But it is still confusing. Does it mean that brother and nephews are treated equally? The following is the closest sentence I found that fits, from that site:

"To the surviving children and lower issue of Decedent's parents by right of representation (ie, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, etc.)"

SO "by right of representation" are brother and nephews treated as equals so it is divided in 1/3 each?

Thank you for any clarification.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 12:42PM
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jkom51

>>treated as equals?>>

Yes. HTH!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 5:28PM
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lafdr

Thank you for clarifying. I know it is easiest if she also has a will that says it. But at least if she does not get a will done, I know it is what she wants anyway. So that is a relief! That website was very helpful especially about clarifying the need or lack of need for probate.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 9:37PM
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lafdr

I know it is easiest if she also has a will that says it. But at least if she does not get a will done, I know it is what she wants anyway. So that is a relief! That website was very helpful especially about clarifying the need or lack of need for probate.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 9:42PM
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