If you die without a valid will while residing in the State of Michigan, you are said to have died "intestate." In order to determine who will receive your property if you die intestate, the State of Michigan 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 Michigan Intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession statutes.
(1) 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 act, except as modified by the decedent's will.
(2) A decedent by will may expressly exclude or limit the right of an individual or class to succeed to property of the decedent that passes 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.
Michigan Compiled Laws, 700.2101
Share of spouse
(1) The intestate share of a decedent's surviving spouse is 1 of the following:
(a) The entire intestate estate if no descendant or parent of the decedent survives the decedent.
(b) The first $150,000.00, plus 1/2 of any balance of the intestate estate, if 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.
(c) The first $150,000.00, plus 3/4 of any balance of the intestate estate, if no descendant of the decedent survives the decedent, but a parent of the decedent survives the decedent.
(d) The first $150,000.00, plus 1/2 of any balance of the intestate estate, if all of the decedent's surviving descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse and the surviving spouse has 1 or more surviving descendants who are not descendants of the decedent.
(e) The first $150,000.00, plus 1/2 of any balance of the intestate estate, if 1 or more, but not all, of the decedent's surviving descendants are not descendants of the surviving spouse.
(f) The first $100,000.00, plus 1/2 of any balance of the intestate estate, if none of the decedent's surviving descendants are descendants of the surviving spouse.
(2) Each dollar amount listed in subsection (1) shall be adjusted as provided in section 1210.
Michigan Compiled Laws, 700.2102
Share of heirs other than surviving spouse
Any part of the intestate estate that does not pass to the decedent's surviving spouse under section 2102, or the entire intestate estate if there is no surviving spouse, passes in the following order to the following individuals who survive the decedent:
(a) The decedent's descendants by representation.
(b) If there is no surviving descendant, the decedent's parents equally if both survive or to the surviving parent.
(c) If there is no surviving descendant or parent, the descendants of the decedent's parents or of either of them by representation.
(d) If there is no surviving descendant, parent, or descendant of a parent, but the decedent is survived by 1 or more grandparents or descendants of grandparents, 1/2 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 1/2 passes to the decedent's maternal relatives in the same manner. 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 1/2.
Michigan Compiled Laws, 700.2103
Requirement that heir survive decedent for 120 hours
An individual who fails to survive the decedent by 120 hours is considered to have predeceased the decedent for purposes of homestead allowance, exempt property, and intestate succession, and the decedent's heirs are determined accordingly. If it is not established by clear and convincing evidence that an individual who would otherwise be an heir survived the decedent by 120 hours, it is considered that the individual failed to survive for the required period. This section does not apply if its application would result in a taking of the intestate estate by the state under section 2105.
Michigan Compiled Laws, 700.2104
No taker; effect
If there is no taker under the provisions of this article, the intestate estate passes to this state.
Michigan Compiled Laws, 700.2105
Other intestacy statutes
There are additional statutes pertaining to the distribution of intestate property in the State of Michigan. To view those statutes, please click here.
[Reference - Michigan's Intestacy Laws].