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Fairfax, VA Probate Blog

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Who Inherits when there is no WIll in Virginia?

If a person dies without a Valid Will, or the decedent’s Will fails to designate how certain property shall be disposed of, or there are no beneficiaries under the Will who can take, as to the probate estate not otherwise disposed of by Will, the property is to be distributed as follows.

The real estate (and personal property) of any decedent not effectively disposed of by will descends and passes by intestate succession in the following course:

1. To the surviving spouse of the decedent, unless the decedent 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 the estate descends and passes to the decedent's children and their descendants, and one-third of the estate descends and passes to the surviving spouse.

2. If there is no surviving spouse, then the estate descends and passes to the decedent's children and their descendants.

3. If there is none of the foregoing, then to the decedent's parents, or to the surviving parent.

4. If there is none of the foregoing, then to the decedent's brothers and sisters, and their descendants.

5. If there is none of the foregoing, then one-half of the estate descends and passes to the paternal kindred and one-half descends and passes to the maternal kindred of the decedent in the following course:

a. To the decedent's grandparents, or to the surviving grandparent.

b. If there is none of the foregoing, then to the decedent's uncles and aunts, and their descendants.

c. If there is none of the foregoing, then to the decedent's great-grandparents.

d. If there is none of the foregoing, then to the brothers and sisters of the decedent's grandparents, and their descendants.

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

B. If there are either no surviving paternal kindred or no surviving maternal kindred, the whole estate descends and passes to the paternal or maternal kindred who survive the decedent. If there are neither maternal nor paternal kindred, the whole estate descends and passes to the kindred of the decedent's most recent spouse, if any, provided that the decedent and the spouse were married at the time of the spouse's death, as if such spouse had died intestate and entitled to the estate.

C. If there is no other heir of a decedent's real estate, such real estate is subject to escheat to the Commonwealth in accordance with Chapter 10 (§ 55-168 et seq.) of Title 55.




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