Estate Planning

If you die without a valid will while residing in the State of Wisconsin, you are said to have died "intestate."  In order to determine who will receive your property if you die intestate, the State of Wisconsin has established a number of laws (known as "intestacy laws" or "laws of intestate succession.") The primary statutes comprising these intestacy laws, or laws of intestate succession, are set forth below. For a more complete list, see Wisconsin Intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession statutes.

 

 

Wisconsin Intestacy Laws, Sec. 852.01- Basic rules for intestate succession. 

(1) Who are heirs.  Except as modified by the decedent's will under s. 852.10 (1), any part of the net estate of a decedent that is not disposed of by will passes to the decedent's surviving heirs as follows:

(a) To the spouse:

1. If there are no surviving issue of the decedent, or if the surviving issue are all issue of the surviving spouse and the decedent, the entire estate.

2. If there are surviving issue one or more of whom are not issue of the surviving spouse, one-half of decedent's property other than the following property:

a. The decedent's interest in marital property.

b. The decedent's interest in property held equally and exclusively with the surviving spouse as tenants in common.

(b) To the issue, per stirpes, the share of the estate not passing to the spouse under par. (a), or the entire estate if there is no surviving spouse.

(c) If there is no surviving spouse or issue, to the parents.

(d) If there is no surviving spouse, issue or parent, to the brothers and sisters and the issue of any deceased brother or sister per stirpes.

(f) If there is no surviving spouse, issue, parent or issue of a parent, to the grandparents and their issue as follows:

1. One-half to the maternal grandparents equally if both survive, or to the surviving maternal grandparent; if both maternal grandparents are deceased, to the issue of the maternal grandparents or either of them, per stirpes.
  
2. One-half to the paternal relations in the same manner as to the maternal relations under subd. 1.
   
3. If either the maternal side or the paternal side has no surviving grandparent or issue of a grandparent, the entire estate to the decedent's relatives on the other side.   

(2) Survivorship requirement. Survivorship under sub. (1) is determined as provided in s. 854.03.

(2m) Heir who kills decedent. If a person under sub. (1) killed the decedent, the inheritance rights of that person are governed by s. 854.14.
  
(3) Escheat. If there are no heirs of the decedent under subs. (1) and (2), the net estate escheats to the state to be added to the capital of the school fund.

 

Wisconsin Intestacy Laws, Sec. 852.03 - Related rules.

(1) Per stirpes. If per stirpes distribution is called for under s. 852.01 (1) (b), (d) or (f), the rules under s. 854.04 apply.
  
(3) Relatives of the half blood. Inheritance rights of relatives of the half blood are governed by s. 854.21 (4).
 
(4) Posthumous heirs. Inheritance rights of a person specified in s. 852.01 (1) who was born after the death of the decedent are governed by s. 854.21 (5).
   
(5) Related through 2 lines. Inheritance rights of a person who is related to the decedent through 2 lines of relationship are governed by s. 854.21 (6).
 
(6) Taking through or by alien. No person is disqualified from taking as an heir because the person or a person through whom he or she claims is not or at some time was not a U.S. citizen. The rights of an alien to acquire or hold land in the state are governed by ss. 710.01 to 710.03.

 

 

Wisconsin Intestacy Laws, Sec. 852.05- Status of child born to unmarried parents for purposes of intestate succession.

(1) A child born to unmarried parents, or the child's issue, is treated in the same manner as a child, or the issue of a child, born to married parents with respect to intestate succession from and through the child's mother, and from and through the child's father if any of the following applies: 

(a) The father has been adjudicated to be the father in a paternity proceeding under ch. 767 or by final order or judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction in another state.
    
(b) The father has admitted in open court that he is the father.
   
(c) The father has acknowledged himself to be the father in writing signed by him.

(2) Property of a child born to unmarried parents passes in accordance with s. 852.01 except that the father or the father's kindred can inherit only if the father has been adjudicated to be the father in a paternity proceeding under ch. 767 or by final order or judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction in another state or has been determined to be the father under s. 767.805 or a substantially similar law of another state.
   
 (3)   

(a) This section does not apply to a child who becomes a marital child by the subsequent marriage of the child's parents under s. 767.803.   

(b) The status of a child born to unmarried parents who is legally adopted is governed by s. 854.20.

(4) Section 895.01 (1) applies to paternity proceedings under ch. 767.

 

Wisconsin Intestacy Laws, Sec. 852.09- Assignment of home to surviving spouse.

If the intestate estate includes an interest in a home, assignment of that interest to the surviving spouse is governed by s. 861.21.

 

Wisconsin Intestacy Laws, Sec. 852.10 - Disinheritance from intestate share.

(1) A decedent's will may exclude or limit the right of an individual or class to succeed to property passing by intestate succession.

(2) The share of the intestate estate that would have passed to the individual or class described in sub. (1) passes as if the individual or each member of the class had disclaimed his or her intestate share under s. 854.13.

(3) This section does not apply if the individual or all members of the class described in sub. (1) predecease the testator.

 

Wisconsin Intestacy Laws, Sec. 852.11- Advancement.

The effect of a lifetime gift by the decedent on the intestate share of an heir is governed by s. 854.09.

 

Wisconsin Intestacy Laws, Sec. 852.12- Debts to decedent.

If an heir owes a debt to the decedent, s. 854.12 governs the treatment of that debt.

 

Wisconsin Intestacy Laws, Sec. 852.13- Right to disclaim intestate share.

Any person to whom property would otherwise pass under s. 852.01 may disclaim all or part of the property as provided under s. 854.13.

 
 

[Reference - Wisconsin Intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession]

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If you die without a valid will while residing in the State of West Virginia, you are said to have died "intestate."  In order to determine who will receive your property if you die intestate, the State of West Virginia has established a number of laws (known as "intestacy laws" or "laws of intestate succession.") The primary statutes comprising these intestacy laws, or laws of intestate succession, are set forth below. For a more complete list, see West Virginia Intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession statutes.

 

 

West Virginia Intestacy Laws, §42-1-1.  General definitions.

Subject to additional definitions contained in the subsequent articles that are applicable to specific articles, parts or sections, and unless the context otherwise requires in this code:

(1) "Agent" includes an attorney-in-fact under a durable or nondurable power of attorney, an individual authorized to make decisions concerning another's health care and an individual authorized to make decisions for another under a natural death act.

(2) "Beneficiary" as it relates to a trust beneficiary, includes a person who has any present or future interest, vested or contingent, and also includes the owner of an interest by assignment or other transfer; as it relates to a charitable trust, includes any person entitled to enforce the trust; as it relates to a "beneficiary of a beneficiary designation", refers to a beneficiary of an account with POD designation, of a security registered in beneficiary form (TOD) or other nonprobate transfer at death; and, as it relates to a "beneficiary designated in a governing instrument", includes a grantee of a deed, a devisee, a trust beneficiary, a beneficiary of a beneficiary designation or a person in whose favor a power of attorney or a power held in any individual, fiduciary or representative capacity is exercised.

(3) "Court" means the county commission or branch in this state having jurisdiction in matters relating to the affairs of decedents.

(4) "Conservator" means a person who is appointed by a court to manage the estate of a protected person.

(5) "Descendant" of an individual means all of his or her descendants of all generations, with the relationship of parent and child at each generation being determined by the definition of child and parent contained in this code.

(6) "Devise" when used as a noun, means a testamentary disposition of real or personal property and, when used as a verb, means to dispose of real or personal property by will.

(7) "Devisee" means a person designated in a will to receive a devise. In the case of a devise to an existing trust or trustee, or to a trustee on trust described by will, the trust or trustee is the devisee and the beneficiaries are not devisees.

(8) "Distributee" means any person who has received property of a decedent from his or her personal representative other than as a creditor or purchaser. A testamentary trustee is a distributee only to the extent of distributed assets or increment thereto remaining in his or her hands. A beneficiary of a testamentary trust to whom the trustee has distributed property received from a personal representative is a distributee of the personal representative. For the purposes of this provision, "testamentary trustee" includes a trustee to whom assets are transferred by will, to the extent of the devised assets.

(9) "Estate" includes the property of the decedent, trust or other person whose affairs are subject to this code as originally constituted and as it exists from time to time during administration.

(10) "Exempt property" means that property of a decedent's estate which is provided for in section forty-eight, article VI of the constitution.

(11) "Fiduciary" includes a personal representative, guardian, conservator and trustee.

(12) "Foreign personal representative" means a personal representative appointed by another jurisdiction.

(13) "Formal proceedings" means proceedings conducted before a judge with notice to interested persons.

(14) "Governing instrument" means a deed, will, trust, insurance or annuity policy, account with POD designation, security registered in beneficiary form (TOD), pension, profit-sharing, retirement or similar benefit plan, instrument creating or exercising a power of appointment or a power of attorney or a donative, appointive or nominative instrument of any other type.

(15) "Guardian" means a person who has qualified as a guardian of a minor or incapacitated person pursuant to testamentary orcourt appointment, but excludes one who is merely a guardian ad litem.

(16) "Heirs" means persons, including the surviving spouse and the state, who are entitled under the statutes of intestate succession to the property of a decedent.

(17) "Informal proceedings" mean those conducted without notice to interested persons by an officer of the court acting as a registrar for probate of a will or appointment of a personal representative.

(18) "Interested person" includes heirs, devisees, children, spouses, creditors, beneficiaries and any others having a property right in or claim against a trust estate or the estate of a decedent, ward or protected person. It also includes persons having priority for appointment as personal representative and other fiduciaries representing interested persons. The meaning as it relates to particular persons may vary from time to time and must be determined according to the particular purposes of, and matter involved in, any proceeding.

(19) "Issue" of a person means descendant as defined in subdivision (5) of this section.

(20) "Joint tenants with the right of survivorship" and "community property with the right of survivorship" includes coowners of property held under circumstances that entitle one or more to the whole of the property on the death of the other or others, but excludes forms of coownership registration in which the underlying ownership of each party is in proportion to that party's contribution.

(21) "Lease" includes an oil, gas or other mineral lease.

(22) "Letters" includes letters testamentary, letters of guardianship, letters of administration and letters of conservatorship.

(23) "Minor" means a person who is under eighteen years of age.

(24) "Mortgage" means any deed of trust, conveyance, agreement or arrangement in which property is encumbered or used as security.

(25) "Nonresident decedent" means a decedent who was domiciled in another jurisdiction at the time of his or her death.

(26) "Parent" includes any person entitled to take, or who would be entitled to take if the child died without a will, as a parent under this code by intestate succession from the child whose relationship is in question and excludes any person who is only a stepparent, foster parent or grandparent.

(27) "Payor" means a trustee, insurer, business entity, employer, government, governmental agency or subdivision or any other person authorized or obligated by law or a governing instrument to make payments.

(28) "Person" means an individual or an organization.

(29) "Personal representative" includes executor, administrator, successor personal representative, special administrator and persons who perform substantially the same function under the law governing their status. "General personal representative" excludes special administrator.

(30) "Petition" means a written request to the court for an order after notice.

(31) "Proceeding" includes action at law and suit in equity.

(32) "Property" includes both real and personal property or any interest therein and means anything that may be the subject of ownership.

(33) "Security" includes any note, stock, treasury stock, bond, debenture, evidence of indebtedness, certificate of interest or participation in an oil, gas or mining title or lease or in payments out of production under such a title or lease, collateral trust certificate, transferable share, voting trust certificate or, in general, any interest or instrument commonly known as a security or any certificate of interest or participation, any temporary or interim certificate, receipt or certificate of deposit for, or any warrant or right to subscribe to or purchase, any of the foregoing.

(34) "Settlement" in reference to a decedent's estate, includes the full process of administration, distribution andclosing.

(35) "State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

(36) "Successor personal representative" means a personal representative, other than a special administrator, who is appointed to succeed a previously appointed personal representative.

(37) "Successors" means persons, other than creditors, who are entitled to property of a decedent under his or her will or this code.

(38) "Survive" means that an individual has neither predeceased an event, including the death of another individual, nor is deemed to have predeceased an event. The term includes its derivatives, such as "survives", "survived", "survivor" and "surviving".

(39) "Surviving spouse" means the person to whom the decedent was married at the time of the decedent's death.

(40) "Testacy proceeding" means a proceeding to establish a will or determine intestacy.

(41) "Testator" includes an individual of either sex.

(42) "Trust" includes an express trust, private or charitable, with additions thereto, wherever and however created. The term also includes a trust created or determined by judgment or decree under which the trust is to be administered in the manner of an express trust. The term excludes other constructive trusts and excludes resulting trusts, conservatorships, personal representatives and custodial arrangements, including that relating to gifts or transfers to minors, dealing with special custodial situations, business trusts providing for certificates to be issued to beneficiaries.

(43) "Trustee" includes an original, additional or successor trustee, whether or not appointed or confirmed by court.

(44) "Will" includes codicil and any testamentary instrument that merely appoints an executor, revokes or revises another will, nominates a guardian or expressly excludes or limits the right of an individual or class to succeed to property of the decedent passing by intestate succession.
 

 

 West Virginia Intestacy Laws, §42-1-2.  Intestate estate.

(a) Any part of a decedent's estate not effectively disposed of by will passes by intestate succession to the decedent's heirs as prescribed in this code, except as modified by the decedent's will.

(b) A decedent by will may expressly exclude or limit the right of an individual or class to succeed to property of the decedent passing by intestate succession. If that individual or a member of that class survives the decedent, the share of the decedent's intestate estate to which that individual or class would have succeeded passes as if that individual or each member of that class had disclaimed his or her intestate share.
 

 

 West Virginia Intestacy Laws, §42-1-3.  Share of spouse.

The intestate share of a decedent's surviving spouse is:

(a) The entire intestate estate if:

(1) No descendant of the decedent survives the decedent; or

(2) All of the decedent's surviving descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse and there is no other descendant of the surviving spouse who survives the decedent;

(b) Three fifths of the intestate estate, if all of the decedent's surviving descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse and the surviving spouse has one or more surviving descendants who are not descendants of the decedent;

(c) One half of the intestate estate, if one or more of the decedent's surviving descendants are not descendants of the surviving spouse.
 

 

 West Virginia Intestacy Laws, §42-1-3a.  Share of heirs other than surviving spouse.

Any part of the intestate estate not passing to the decedent's surviving spouse under section three of this article, or the entire intestate estate if there is no surviving spouse, passes in the following order to the individuals designated below who survive the decedent:

(a) To the decedent's descendants by representation;

(b) If there is no surviving descendant, to the decedent's parents equally if both survive, or to the surviving parent;

(c) If there is no surviving descendant or parent, to the descendants of the decedent's parents or either of them by representation;

(d) If there is no surviving descendant, parent, or descendant of a parent, but the decedent is survived by one or more grandparents or descendants of grandparents, half of the estate passes to the decedent's paternal grandparents equally if both survive, or to the surviving paternal grandparent, or to the descendants of the decedent's paternal grandparents or either of them if both are deceased, the descendants taking by representation; and the other half passes to the decedent's maternal relatives in the same manner; but, if there is no surviving grandparent or descendant of a grandparent on either the paternal or the maternal side, the entire estate passes to the decedent's relatives on the other side in the same manner as the half.
 

 

 West Virginia Intestacy Laws, §42-1-3b.  Requirement that heir survive decedent for one hundred twenty hours.

An individual who fails to survive the decedent by one hundred twenty hours is deemed to have predeceased the decedent for purposes of intestate succession, and the decedent's heirs are determined accordingly. If the time of death of a decedent or of an individual who would otherwise be an heir, or the times of death of both, cannot be determined, and it is not established that the individual who would otherwise be an heir survived the decedent by one hundred twenty hours, it is deemed that the individual failed to survive for the required period. This section is not to be applied if its application would result in a taking of intestate estate by the state under section three-c of this article.
 

 

 West Virginia Intestacy Laws, §42-1-3c.   No taker.

If there is no taker under the provisions of this article, the intestate estate passes to the state. Any real property shall pass to the state auditor. Any personal property shall pass to the state treasurer for disposition by public sale in accordance with the provisions of section twelve, article eight, chapter thirty-six of this code. The proceeds of the sale of any such real property shall be deposited to the credit of the general school fund. The proceeds of the sale of any such personal property shall be deposited to the credit of the general revenue fund.
 

 

 West Virginia Intestacy Laws, §42-1-3d.   Representation.

(a) In this section:

(1) "Deceased descendant," "deceased parent," or "deceased grandparent" means a descendant, parent, or grandparent who either predeceased the decedent or is deemed to have predeceased the decedent under section three-b of this article.

(2) "Surviving descendant" means a descendant who neither predeceased the decedent nor is deemed to have predeceased the decedent under section three-b of this article.

(b) If, under section three-a of this article, a decedent's intestate estate or a part thereof passes "by representation" to the decedent's descendants, the estate or part thereof is divided into as many equal shares as there are: (i) Surviving descendants in the generation nearest to the decedent which contains one or more surviving descendants; and (ii) deceased descendants in the same generation who left surviving descendants, if any. Each surviving descendant in the nearest generation is allocated one share. The remaining shares, if any, are combined and then divided in the same manner among the surviving descendants of the deceased descendants as if the surviving descendants who were allocated a share and their surviving descendants had predeceased the decedent.

(c) If, under section three-a of this article, a decedent's intestate estate or a part thereof passes "by representation" to the descendants of the decedent's deceased parents or either of them or to the descendants of the decedent's deceased paternal or maternal grandparents or either of them, the estate or part thereof is divided into as many equal shares as there are: (i) Surviving descendants in the generation nearest the deceased parents or either of them, or the deceased grandparents or either of them, that contains one or more surviving descendants; and (ii) deceased descendants in the same generation who left surviving descendants, if any. Each surviving descendant in the nearest generation is allocated one share. The remaining shares, if any, are combined and then divided in the same manner among the surviving descendants of the deceased descendants as if the surviving descendants who were allotted a share and their surviving descendants had predeceased the decedent.
 

 

 West Virginia Intestacy Laws, §42-1-3e.   Kindred of half blood.

Relatives of the half blood inherit the same share they would inherit if they were of the whole blood.
 

 

 West Virginia Intestacy Laws, §42-1-3f.  Afterborn heirs.

An individual in gestation at a particular time is treated as living at that time if the individual lives one hundred twenty hours or more after birth.
 

 

 West Virginia Intestacy Laws, §42-1-3g.   Advancements.

(a) If an individual dies intestate as to all or a portion of his or her estate, property the decedent gave during the decedent's lifetime to an individual who, at the decedent's death, is an heir is treated as an advancement against the heir's intestate share only if (i) the decedent declared in a contemporaneous writing or the heir acknowledged in writing that the gift is an advancement or (ii) the decedent's contemporaneous writing or the heir's written acknowledgement otherwise indicates that the gift is to be taken into account in computing the division and distribution of the decedent's intestate estate.

(b) For purposes of subsection (a), property advanced is valued as of the time the heir came into possession or enjoyment of the property or as of the time of the decedent's death, whichever first occurs.

(c) If the recipient of the property fails to survive the decedent, the property is not taken into account in computing the division and distribution of the decedent's intestate estate, unless the decedent's contemporaneous writing provides otherwise.
 

 West Virginia Intestacy Laws, §42-1-4.  Alienage.

No individual is disqualified to take as an heir because the individual or an individual through whom he or she claims is or has been an alien.
 

 

 West Virginia Intestacy Laws, §42-1-5.  From whom children born out of wedlock inherit.

(a) Children born out of wedlock shall be capable of inheriting and transmitting inheritance on the part of their mother and father.

(b) Prior to the death of the father, paternity shall be established by:

(1) Acknowledgment that he is the child's father;

(2) Adjudication on the merits pursuant to the provisions of article twenty-four, chapter forty-eight of this code; or

(3) By order of a court of competent jurisdiction issued in another state.

(c) After the death of the father, paternity shall be established if, after a hearing on the merits, the court shall find, by clear and convincing evidence, that the man is the father of the child. The civil action shall be filed in the family court of the county where the administration of the decedent's estate has been filed or could be filed:

(1) Within six months of the date of the final order of the county commission admitting the decedent's will to probate or commencing intestate administration of the estate; or

(2) If none of the above apply, within six months from the date of decedent's death.

(d) Any putative child who at the time of the decedent's death is under the age of eighteen years, a convict or a mentally incapacitated person may file such civil action within six months after he or she becomes of age or the disability ceases.

(e) The provisions of this section do not apply where the putative child has been lawfully adopted by another man and stands to inherit property or assets through his adopted father.

(f) The provisions of this section do not apply where the father or putative father has expressly disinherited the child in a provision of his will.
 

 

 West Virginia Intestacy Laws, §42-1-6.  Legitimation by marriage.

If a man, having had a child or children by a woman, shall afterwards intermarry with her, such child or children, or their descendants, shall be deemed legitimate.
 

 

 West Virginia Intestacy Laws, §42-1-7.  Issue legitimate though marriage null.

The issue of marriages deemed null in law, or dissolved by a court, shall nevertheless be legitimate. 
 

 

 West Virginia Intestacy Laws, §42-1-8.  Posthumous children to take.

Any child in the womb of its mother at, and which may be born after, the death of the intestate, shall be capable of taking by inheritance in the same manner as if such child were in being at the time of such death.
 

 

 West Virginia Intestacy Laws, §42-1-9.  Establishment and recordation of descent.

Where any person having title to an estate of inheritance in real estate within this state has died intestate, or testate, without having devised his real estate, his heirs, or any of them, or any person deriving title from or through such heirs, or any of them, may at any time within twenty years after the death of such person present to the circuit court of the county where such real estate, or any part thereof, is situated, a petition, under oath, describing such real estate, setting forth the interest or share of the petitioner and of each other heir of the decedent in such real estate, and praying for a decree establishing the right of inheritance thereto, and that all the heirs of the decedent, and other parties in interest may be summoned to show cause why the prayer of the petition should not be granted. There shall also be set out in the petition and be made parties, the heirs or devisees of any person who inherited from the decedent but who has died before the proceeding is instituted, and any purchasers or successors in title from such a person, and any holders of liens on the whole property or on the share of any person interested in the property. Upon the presentation of such petition a rule to show cause, returnable within such time as the court shall direct, shall be issued accordingly, except in a case where all the interested parties unite in such petition or appear and waive service of the rule. Guardians ad litem for all infants, convicts in confinement and insane persons, who may be parties to such proceeding, shall be appointed and attend, and nonresident persons may be proceeded against by order of publication, as in other cases, upon the return of the rule to show cause the circuit court shall hear the allegations and proofs of the parties and determine all the issues raised. The petitioner shall establish the fact of the decedent's death; the place of his residence at the time of his death; his will or intestacy, either generally, or as to the real estate in question; the heirs entitled to inherit the real estate in question; the name, age, residence and relationship to the decedent, of each; and the interest or share of each heir or other person in such real estate. The court, when these facts are established, shall make a decree describing the real estate, and declaring that the right of inheritance thereto has been established to the court's satisfaction, in accordance with the facts which shall be recited in the decree, and that at the death of the testator or intestate certain persons, who shall be named in the decree, were entitled to take the property in certain proportions, which shall also be set out in the decree. A certified copy of such decree shall be recorded in the office of the clerk of the county court of the county or counties in which such real estate is situated, in the record of deeds, and indexed in the general index of deeds in the name of the decedent as if grantor, and in the name of each heir as if grantee, and the fees for such recording and indexing shall be the same as for deeds. From the time when such copy is so recorded, the decree, or the record thereof, shall be conclusive evidence of the facts so declared to be established thereby against all parties to such proceeding.

An appeal from such decree shall lie to the supreme court of appeals as in other cases, and any person under disability or proceeded against by publication and not appearing may have the matter reheard as in other cases.
 

 

 West Virginia Intestacy Laws, §42-1-10.   Individuals related to decedent through two lines.

An individual who is related to the decedent through two lines of relationship is entitled to only a single share based on the relationship that would entitle the individual to the larger share.

 
 

[Reference - West Virginia Intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession]

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If you die without a valid will while residing in the State of Washington, you are said to have died "intestate."  In order to determine who will receive your property if you die intestate, the State of Washington has established a number of laws (known as "intestacy laws" or "laws of intestate succession.") The primary statutes comprising these intestacy laws, or laws of intestate succession, are set forth below. For a more complete list, see Washington Intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession statutes.

 

 

RCW 11.04.015  Descent and distribution of real and personal estate. 

The net estate of a person dying intestate, or that portion thereof with respect to which the person shall have died intestate, shall descend subject to the provisions of RCW 11.04.250 and 11.02.070, and shall be distributed as follows:

     (1) Share of surviving spouse or state registered domestic partner. The surviving spouse or state registered domestic partner shall receive the following share:

     (a) All of the decedent's share of the net community estate; and

     (b) One-half of the net separate estate if the intestate is survived by issue; or

     (c) Three-quarters of the net separate estate if there is no surviving issue, but the intestate is survived by one or more of his parents, or by one or more of the issue of one or more of his parents; or

     (d) All of the net separate estate, if there is no surviving issue nor parent nor issue of parent.

     (2) Shares of others than surviving spouse or state registered domestic partner. The share of the net estate not distributable to the surviving spouse or state registered domestic partner, or the entire net estate if there is no surviving spouse or state registered domestic partner, shall descend and be distributed as follows:

     (a) To the issue of the intestate; if they are all in the same degree of kinship to the intestate, they shall take equally, or if of unequal degree, then those of more remote degree shall take by representation.

     (b) If the intestate not be survived by issue, then to the parent or parents who survive the intestate.

     (c) If the intestate not be survived by issue or by either parent, then to those issue of the parent or parents who survive the intestate; if they are all in the same degree of kinship to the intestate, they shall take equally, or, if of unequal degree, then those of more remote degree shall take by representation.

     (d) If the intestate not be survived by issue or by either parent, or by any issue of the parent or parents who survive the intestate, then to the grandparent or grandparents who survive the intestate; if both maternal and paternal grandparents survive the intestate, the maternal grandparent or grandparents shall take one-half and the paternal grandparent or grandparents shall take one-half.

     (e) If the intestate not be survived by issue or by either parent, or by any issue of the parent or parents or by any grandparent or grandparents, then to those issue of any grandparent or grandparents who survive the intestate; taken as a group, the issue of the maternal grandparent or grandparents shall share equally with the issue of the paternal grandparent or grandparents, also taken as a group; within each such group, all members share equally if they are all in the same degree of kinship to the intestate, or, if some be of unequal degree, then those of more remote degree shall take by representation.

 

RCW 11.04.035 Kindred of the half blood.

Kindred of the half blood shall inherit the same share which they would have inherited if they had been of the whole blood, unless the inheritance comes to the intestate by descent, devise, or gift from one of his ancestors, or kindred of such ancestor's blood, in which case all those who are not of the blood of such ancestors shall be excluded from such inheritance: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That the words "kindred of such ancestor's blood" and "blood of such ancestors" shall be construed to include any child lawfully adopted by one who is in fact of the blood of such ancestors.

 

RCW 11.04.041 Advancements.

If a person dies intestate as to all his estate, property which he gave in his lifetime as an advancement to any person who, if the intestate had died at the time of making the advancement, would be entitled to inherit a part of his estate, shall be counted toward the advancee's intestate share, and to the extent that it does not exceed such intestate share shall be taken into account in computing the estate to be distributed. Every gratuitous inter vivos transfer is deemed to be an absolute gift and not an advancement unless shown to be an advancement. The advancement shall be considered as of its value at the time when the advancee came into possession or enjoyment or at the time of the death of the intestate, whichever first occurs. If the advancee dies before the intestate, leaving a lineal heir who takes from the intestate, the advancement shall be taken into account in the same manner as if it had been made directly to such heir. If such heir is entitled to a lesser share in the estate than the advancee would have been entitled had he survived the intestate, then the heir shall only be charged with such proportion of the advancement as the amount he would have inherited, had there been no advancement, bears to the amount which the advancee would have inherited, had there been no advancement.

 

RCW 11.04.060 Tenancy in dower and by curtesy abolished.

The provisions of RCW 11.04.015, as to the inheritance of the husband and wife from each other take the place of tenancy in dower and tenancy by curtesy, which are hereby abolished.

 

RCW 11.04.071 Survivorship as incident of tenancy by the entireties abolished.

The right of survivorship as an incident of tenancy by the entireties is abolished.

   

RCW 11.04.081 Inheritance by and from any child not dependent upon marriage of parents.

For the purpose of inheritance to, through, and from any child, the effects and treatment of the parent-child relationship shall not depend upon whether or not the parents have been married.

 

RCW 11.04.085 Inheritance by adopted child.

A lawfully adopted child shall not be considered an "heir" of his natural parents for purposes of this title.

 

RCW 11.04.095 Inheritance from stepparent avoids escheat.

If a person dies leaving a surviving spouse or surviving domestic partner and issue by a former spouse or former domestic partner and leaving a will whereby all or substantially all of the deceased's property passes to the surviving spouse or surviving domestic partner or having before death conveyed all or substantially all his or her property to the surviving spouse or surviving domestic partner, and afterwards the latter dies without heirs and without disposing of his or her property by will so that except for this section the same would all escheat, the issue of the spouse or domestic partner first deceased who survive the spouse or domestic partner last deceased shall take and inherit from the spouse or domestic partner last deceased the property so acquired by will or conveyance or the equivalent thereof in money or other property; if such issue are all in the same degree of kinship to the spouse or domestic partner first deceased they shall take equally, or, if of unequal degree, then those of more remote degree shall take by representation with respect to such spouse or such domestic partner first deceased.

   

RCW 11.04.230 United States savings bond — Effect of death of co-owner.

If either co-owner of United States savings bonds registered in two names as co-owners (in the alternative) dies without having presented and surrendered the bond for payment to a federal reserve bank or the treasury department, the surviving co-owner will be the sole and absolute owner of the bond.

 

RCW 11.04.240 United States savings bond — Effect of beneficiary's survival of registered owner.

If the registered owner of United States savings bonds registered in the name of one person payable on death to another dies without having presented and surrendered the bond for payment or authorized reissue to a federal reserve bank or the treasury department, and is survived by the beneficiary, the beneficiary will be the sole and absolute owner of the bond.

 

RCW 11.04.250 When real estate vests — Rights of heirs.

When a person dies seized of lands, tenements or hereditaments, or any right thereto or entitled to any interest therein in fee or for the life of another, his title shall vest immediately in his heirs or devisees, subject to his debts, family allowance, expenses of administration and any other charges for which such real estate is liable under existing laws. No administration of the estate of such decedent, and no decree of distribution or other finding or order of any court shall be necessary in any case to vest such title in the heirs or devisees, but the same shall vest in the heirs or devisees instantly upon the death of such decedent: PROVIDED, That no person shall be deemed a devisee until the will has been probated. The title and right to possession of such lands, tenements, or hereditaments so vested in such heirs or devisees, together with the rents, issues and profits thereof, shall be good and valid against all persons claiming adversely to the claims of any such heirs, or devisees, excepting only the personal representative when appointed, and persons lawfully claiming under such personal representative; and any one or more of such heirs or devisees, or their grantees, jointly or severally, may sue for and recover their respective shares or interests in any such lands, tenements, or hereditaments and the rents, issues and profits thereof, whether letters testamentary or of administration be granted or not, from any person except the personal representative and those lawfully claiming under such personal representative.

 

RCW 11.04.290 Vesting of title.

RCW 11.04.250 through 11.04.290 shall apply to community real property and also to separate estate; and upon the death of either spouse or either domestic partner, title of all community real property shall vest immediately in the person or persons to whom the same shall go, pass, descend or be devised, as provided in RCW 11.04.015, subject to all the charges mentioned in RCW 11.04.250.

 

 

[Reference - Washington Intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession]

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If you die without a valid will while residing in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you are said to have died "intestate."  In order to determine who will receive your property if you die intestate, the Commonwealth of Virginia has established a number of laws (known as "intestacy laws" or "laws of intestate succession.") The primary statutes comprising these intestacy laws, or laws of intestate succession, are set forth below. For a more complete list, see Virginia Intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession statutes.

 

 

§ 64.1-1.  Course of descents generally.

When any person having title to any real estate of inheritance shall die intestate as to such estate, it shall descend and pass in parcenary to such of his kindred, male and female, in the following course: 

First. To the surviving spouse of the intestate, unless the intestate is survived by children or their descendants, one or more of whom are not children or their descendants of the surviving spouse, in which case two-thirds of such estate shall pass to all the intestate's children and their descendants and the remaining one-third of such estate shall pass to the intestate's surviving spouse. 

Second. If there be no surviving spouse, then the whole shall go to all the intestate's children and their descendants. 

Third. If there be none such, then to his or her father and mother or the survivor. 

Fourth. If there be none such, then to his or her brothers and sisters, and their descendants. 

Fifth. If there be none such, then one moiety shall go to the paternal, the other to the maternal kindred, of the intestate, in the following course: 

Sixth. First to the grandfather and grandmother or the survivor. 

Seventh. If there be none, then to the uncles and aunts, and their descendants. 

Eighth. If there be none such, then to the great grandfathers or great grandfather, and great grandmothers or great grandmother. 

Ninth. If there be none, then to the brothers and sisters of the grandfathers and grandmothers, and their descendants. 

Tenth. And so on, in other cases, without end, passing to the nearest lineal ancestors, and the descendants of such ancestors. 

Eleventh. If there be no paternal kindred the whole shall go to the maternal kindred; and if there be no maternal kindred, the whole shall go to the paternal kindred. If there be neither maternal nor paternal kindred, the whole shall go to the kindred of the husband or wife, in the like course as if such husband or wife had died entitled to the estate.
 

§ 64.1-2.  How collaterals of half blood inherit.

Collaterals of the half blood shall inherit only half so much as those of the whole blood.
 

§ 64.1-3.  When parties take per capita and when per stirpes.

Whenever those entitled to partition are all in the same degree of kindred to the intestate, they shall take per capita or by persons; and when, a part of them being dead and a part living, the issue of those dead have right to partition, such issue shall take per stirpes or by stocks, that is to say, the shares of their deceased parents.
 

§ 64.1-4.  When alienage of ancestor not to bar.

In making title by descent, it shall be no bar to a party that any ancestor, whether living or dead, through whom he derives his descent from the intestate, is or has been an alien.
 

§ 64.1-5.1.  Meaning of child and related terms.

If, for purposes of this title or for determining rights in and to property pursuant to any deed, will, trust or other instrument, a relationship of parent and child must be established to determine succession or a taking by, through or from a person:

1. An adopted person is the child of an adopting parent and not of the biological parents, except that adoption of a child by the spouse of a biological parent has no effect on the relationship between the child and either biological parent.

2. The parentage of a child resulting from assisted conception shall be determined as provided in Chapter 9 (§ 20-156 et seq.) of Title 20.

3. In cases not covered by subdivision 1 or 2 hereof, a person born out of wedlock is a child of the mother. That person is also a child of the father, if:

a. The biological parents participated in a marriage ceremony before or after the birth of the child, even though the attempted marriage was prohibited by law, deemed null or void or dissolved by a court; or

b. The paternity is established by clear and convincing evidence, including scientifically reliable genetic testing, as set forth in § 64.1-5.2; however, paternity establishment pursuant to this subdivision b shall be ineffective to qualify the father or his kindred to inherit from or through the child unless the father has openly treated the child as his and has not refused to support the child.

4. No claim of succession based upon the relationship between a child born out of wedlock and a parent of such child shall be recognized in the settlement of any decedent's estate unless an affidavit by such child or by someone acting for such child alleging such parenthood has been filed within one year of the date of the death of such parent in the clerk's office of the circuit court of the jurisdiction wherein the property affected by such claim is located and an action seeking adjudication of parenthood is filed in an appropriate circuit court within said time. However, such one-year period shall run notwithstanding the minority of such child. The limitation period of the preceding sentence shall not apply in those cases where the relationship between the child born out of wedlock and the parent in question is (i) established by a birth record prepared upon information given by or at the request of such parent; or (ii) by admission by such parent of parenthood before any court or in writing under oath; or (iii) by a previously concluded proceeding to determine parentage pursuant to the provisions of former § 20-61.1 or Chapter 3.1 (§ 20-49.1 et seq.) of Title 20.

5. Unless otherwise specifically provided therein, an order terminating residual parental rights under § 16.1-283 shall terminate the rights of the parent to take from or through the child in question but the order shall not otherwise affect the rights of the child, the child's kindred, or the parent's kindred to take from or through the parent or the rights of the parent's kindred to take from or through the child.
 

§ 64.1-5.2.  Evidence of paternity.

For the purposes of this title, evidence that a man is the father of a child born out of wedlock shall be clear and convincing and may include, but shall not be limited to, the following:

1. That he cohabited openly with the mother during all of the ten months immediately prior to the time the child was born;

2. That he gave consent to a physician or other person, not including the mother, charged with the responsibility of securing information for the preparation of a birth record that his name be used as the father of the child upon the birth records of the child;

3. That he allowed by a general course of conduct the common use of his surname by the child;

4. That he claimed the child as his child on any statement, tax return or other document filed and signed by him with any local, state or federal government or any agency thereof;

5. That he admitted before any court having jurisdiction to try and dispose of the same that he is the father of the child;

6. That he voluntarily admitted paternity in writing, under oath;

7. The results of scientifically reliable genetic tests, including DNA tests, weighted with all the evidence; or

8. Other medical, scientific or anthropological evidence relating to the alleged parentage of the child based on tests performed by experts.

If a proceeding to determine parentage has been initiated and concluded pursuant to former § 20-61.1 or Chapter 3.1 (§ 20-49.1 et seq.) of Title 20, and the court enters a judgment against a man for the support, maintenance and education of a child as if the child were born in lawful wedlock to the man, that judgment shall be sufficient evidence of paternity for the purposes of this section.
 

§ 64.1-6.1. Persons related to decedent through two lines.

A person who is related to the decedent through two lines of relationship is entitled to only a single share based on the relationship which would entitle him to the larger share.
 

§ 64.1-8.1.  Afterborn heirs.

Relatives of the decedent conceived before his death but born thereafter, and children resulting from assisted conception born after decedent's death who are determined to be relatives of the decedent as provided in Chapter 9 (§ 20-156 et seq.) of Title 20, shall inherit as if they had been born during the lifetime of the decedent.

§ 64.1-10.  Right of entry not affected by descent cast.

The right of entry on or action for land shall not be tolled or defeated by descent cast.
 

§ 64.1-11. Distribution of personal estate.

When any person shall die intestate as to his personal estate or any part thereof, the surplus (subject to the provisions of Article 5.1 (§ 64.1-151.1 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of this title), after payment of funeral expenses, charges of administration and debts, shall pass and be distributed to and among the same persons, and in the same proportions, to whom and in which real estate is directed to descend. However, if the intestate was married, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to one-third of such surplus, if the intestate left surviving children or their descendants, one or more of whom are not children or descendants of the surviving spouse. If no such children or their descendants survive, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to the whole of such surplus.
 

§ 64.1-12.  Right of Commonwealth, if no other distributee.

To the Commonwealth shall accrue all the personal estate of every decedent, of which there is no other distributee.
 

§ 64.1-13.  When and how elective share may be claimed.

A. Whether or not (i) any provision for a husband or wife is made in the spouse's will, or (ii) the spouse dies intestate, the surviving husband or wife of a decedent who dies domiciled in this Commonwealth may, within six months from the later of (i) the time of the admission of the will to probate or (ii) the qualification of an administrator on the intestate estate, claim an elective share in the spouse's augmented estate. The claim to an elective share shall be made either in person before the court having jurisdiction over administration of the decedent's estate or by writing recorded in such court, or the clerk's office thereof, upon such acknowledgment or proof as would authorize a writing to be admitted to record under Chapter 6 (§ 55-106 et seq.) of Title 55.

B. The right, if any, of the surviving husband or wife of a decedent who dies domiciled outside this Commonwealth to take an elective share amount based upon the value of property in this Commonwealth is governed by the law of the decedent's domicile at death.

 

 

[Reference - Virginia Intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession]

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