No Will, Who Inherits?

No Will, Who Inherits?

What is the legal protocol of blood relatives when there is no will? My aunt died she had no children and her husband is deceased. She is survived by her brother and sister but they are incompetent. Does my aunt's money go to her sister's and brother's children?


If there is no will (called intestacy) the state law of the state in which the decedent lived (domiciled) will govern. State law will provide a sequence of persons, in order, who inherit. A personal administrator (the term varies by state) will be appointed to see to this distribution. If the persons in line to inherit under state intestacy law are incompetent a court will likely appoint a guardian to represent their interests. They will not be prevented from inheriting simply because they are incompetent. If you are a potential beneficiary you should hire an experienced probate attorney in your state. The Complete Probate Guide (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) has some useful information on this process.

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