I have an aunt that has no kids and is not married. She passed away. Will her estate go to her niece and nephew who are the closet kin or will it be divided among other family members?
3 Answers from Attorneys
Va. Code Sec. 64.1-1 describes how the estate of one who dies intestate(without a will)is to be distributed and where there are no immediate relatives available to inherit, the statute specifies that one half of the estate is to go to the paternal kindred and the other half to the maternal kindred, beginning with the the grandparents on each side and if there are none such, then to the surviving aunts and uncles and their descendants, which would include nieces and nephews. The more remotely related(to the deceased) relatives such as you are presumably referencing follow after these.
If your aunt left a will, her estate will go to the beneficiaries named in the will.
If she did not leave a will, the order of beneiciaries is determined by Virginia statute if she died in Virginia, which after spouse and kids sets the following priority:
Parents, if living
Siblings or the descendants of deceased
siblings, if any
Other more distant relatives, which you don't need
to be concerned about, since you fit in the
Neither a neice or a nephew may have a share where a parent of the neice or nephew survives him or her. Otherwise, a share is taken by a neice or nephew by representation of the deceased parent. In order for this to occur the aunt or uncle must have died without a spouse or children.
Where a last will and testament exists, the bequests contained therein will dictate and everything mentioned above is not applicable.
If you should need assistance with your legal matter, please contact me. E-mail is preferred as I am changing office location with my phone number changing on January 15, 2005. Postal address during interim is P.O. Box 8078, Elkridge, Maryland 21075.