Each state has statutory provisions as to how your estate will be distributed upon your death if you do not have a will. Dying without a will is considered intestate. The state of Indiana1)http://www.in.gov/core/ then determines which of your heirs receive your property. The Indiana code is no different in sets forth those procedures.
If you are married, your surviving spouse will receive one-half of your net estate if you are also survived by least one child or grandchild. The same rule in Indiana applies regardless how many children or grandchildren you have.
If you are not survived by a child or grandchildren, then your surviving spouse receives three quarters of your net estate, with the other one quarter going to your parents.
On the other hand, as would be most logical, if you die without surviving children, grandchildren, or apparent, the entire estate in Indiana would go to your surviving spouse.
There is a very special provision if you have a second marriage and in that second spouse have no children from that union. In that case, your surviving spouse only receives 25% of the market value of your real estate, less mortgages. So if you have a house worth $300,000 and a mortgage of $200,000, that second childless spouse would only receive $100,000.
The rule is different as to your personal property. In that case your second childless wife receives the same share as described above. For example, if you are survived by that spouse and children, she would receive one half of your personal property.
But what if you are nits survived by your wife or husband? In that case, logically your children would receive equal shares of the estate. And if one of them has predeceased and you have grandchildren, they would, by right of representation, receive that share. So in other words, if you have three children and one of them has predeceased you, then the one-third share would go to the grandchildren of that deceased child.
If there is no surviving spouse or children, who then it will go equally to your brothers and sisters.
As you can see, these Indiana rules are very technical. But you can also see the definite benefits of having a will2)https://www.gov.uk/make-will/overview. In that case, you can decide exactly who gets what and will not be forced to comply with the Indiana intestate laws.
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