If you die without a valid will while residing in the State of Mississippi, you are said to have died "intestate."  In order to determine who will receive your property if you die intestate, the State of Mississippi 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 the Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended.



What law to govern

All personal property situated in this state shall descend and be distributed according to the laws of this state regulating the descent and distribution of such property, regardless of all marital rights which may have accrued in other states, and notwithstanding the domicile of the deceased may have been in another state, and whether the heirs or persons entitled to distribution be in this state or not. The widow of such deceased person shall take her share in the personal estate according to the laws of this state. 

Mississippi Code, § 91-1-1


Descent of land

When any person shall die seized of any estate of inheritance in lands, tenements, and hereditaments not devised, the same shall descend to his or her children, and their descendants, in equal parts, the descendants of the deceased child or grandchild to take the share of the deceased parent in equal parts among them. When there shall not be a child or children of the intestate nor descendants of such children, then to the brothers and sisters and father and mother of the intestate and the descendants of such brothers and sisters in equal parts, the descendants of a sister or brother of the intestate to have in equal parts among them their deceased parent's share. If there shall not be a child or children of the intestate, or descendants of such children, or brothers or sisters, or descendants of them, or father or mother, then such estate shall descend, in equal parts, to the grandparents and uncles and aunts, if any there be; otherwise, such estate shall descend in equal parts to the next of kin of the intestate in equal degree, computing by the rules of the civil law. There shall not be any representation among collaterals, except among the descendants of the brothers and sisters of the intestate. 

Mississippi Code, § 91-1-3


Descent of property as between husband and wife

If a husband die intestate and do not leave children or descendants of children, his widow shall be entitled to his entire estate, real and personal, in fee simple, after payment of his debts; but where the deceased husband shall leave a child or children by that or a former marriage, or descendants of such child or children, his widow shall have a child's part of his estate, in either case in fee simple. If a married woman die owning any real or personal estate not disposed of, it shall descend to her husband and her children or their descendants if she have any surviving her, either by a former husband or by the surviving husband, in equal parts, according to the rules of descent. If she have children and there also be descendants of other children who have died before the mother, the descendants shall inherit the share to which the parent would have been entitled if living, as coheirs with the surviving children. If she have no children or descendants of them, then the husband shall inherit all of her property. 

Mississippi Code, § 91-1-7


Descent of trust estates

If any cestui que trust shall die leaving a trust in lands, tenements, or hereditaments in fee simple or in freehold, the trust shall descend as real estate if not disposed of by will, or if not inconsistent with the declaration of the trust. 

Mississippi Code, § 91-1-9


Personal estate to descend as real estate

When any person shall die possessed of goods and chattels or personal estate not bequeathed, the same shall descend to and be distributed among his or her heirs in the same manner that real estate not devised descends. 

Mississippi Code, § 91-1-11


Other intestacy statutes

There are additional statutes pertaining to the distribution of intestate property in the State of Mississippi. To view those statutes, please click here.


[Reference - Mississippi's Intestacy Laws]