If you die without a valid will while residing in the State of Arizona, you are said to have died "intestate."  In order to determine who will receive your property if you die intestate, the State of Arizona 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 Arizona intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession statutes.



Intestate estate; modification by will

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 chapter, except as modified by the decedent's will.

B. A decedent by will may expressly exclude or limit the right of a person or class to succeed to property of the decedent that passes by intestate succession. If that person or a member of that class survives the decedent, the share of the decedent's intestate estate to which that person or class would have succeeded passes as if that person or each member of that class had disclaimed that person's intestate share.

ARS 14-2101


Intestate share of surviving spouse

The following part of the intestate estate, as to both separate property and the one-half of community property that belongs to the decedent, passes to the surviving spouse:

1. If there is no surviving issue or if there are surviving issue all of whom are issue of the surviving spouse also, the entire intestate estate.

2. If there are surviving issue one or more of whom are not issue of the surviving spouse, one-half of the intestate separate property and no interest in the one-half of the community property that belonged to the decedent.

ARS 14-2102


Heirs other than surviving spouse; share in estate

Any part of the intestate estate not passing to the decedent's surviving spouse under section 14-2102 or the entire intestate estate if there is no surviving spouse passes in the following order to the following persons who survive the decedent:

1. To the decedent's descendants by representation.

2. If there is no surviving descendant, to the decedent's parents equally if both survive or to the surviving parent.

3. If there is no surviving descendant or parent, to the descendants of the decedent's parents or either of them by representation.

4. 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 the descendants of the decedent's paternal grandparents or either of them if both are deceased with the descendants taking by representation. The other half 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 half.

ARS 14-2103


Heirs; surviving of decedent; time requirement; presumption; exception

A. A person who does not survive the decedent by at least one hundred twenty hours is deemed to have predeceased the decedent for purposes of homestead allowance, exempt property and intestate succession, and the decedent's heirs are determined accordingly.

B. If it is not established by clear and convincing evidence that a person who would otherwise be an heir survived the decedent by at least one hundred twenty hours, it is deemed that the individual failed to survive for the required period.

C. This section does not apply if its application would result in a taking of intestate estate by the state under section 14-2105.

ARS 14-2104


Unclaimed estate; passage to state

If no one is qualified to claim the estate under this article, the intestate estate passes to the state.

ARS 14-2105


Other intestacy statutes

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


[Reference - Arizona's Intestacy laws]