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What happens if you die without a Will in Alabama?

Posted by Joseph Britt | Mar 03, 2024

Intestate Succession

Intestate succession is often associated with situations where a decedent dies without a Will but it also applies to any property that a Will doesn't dispose of as well.

An "heir" is defined as someone who is entitled to receive property of the decedent under the statutes of intestate succession.  To find who will inherit the property we must follow a series of charts that can be summed up with the following questions:

  1. Is there a surviving spouse?
    1. If Yes, did the decedent have children?
      1. If Yes, are the children also children of the surviving spouse?
    2. If No, are there surviving parents of the decedent?

If there is a surviving spouse and no children, but parents of the decedent: the first $100,000 plus 1/2 the balance to the surviving spouse, the rest to the parents

If there is a surviving spouse and no children, and no parents of the decedent: the surviving spouse receives 100% of the estate

If there is a surviving spouse, and children, but all children are issue of the surviving spouse as well as the decedent: Spouse takes first $50,000 and 1/2 the balance - children split the remainder

If there is a surviving spouse, and children but the children are not all the surviving spouse's children: 1/2 of the estate to the spouse, children split the remainder

If there is no surviving spouse: children inherit- if no children, parents inherit.

There are contingencies if the above does not find an heir, but generally, most cases fall into one of the above categories.

If you have any questions above the probate process, ask in the form below or call the Britt Law Firm at 256-272-1726 for a free consultation.

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Britt Estate Planning & Probate is committed to answering your questions about Estate Planning, Probate, and Estate Administration issues in Alabama. We offer consultations and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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