Intestate succession and inheritance as a surviving spouse

On Behalf of | Jul 29, 2022 | Probate And Estate Administration |

If you recently lost a spouse and he or she did not have an estate plan in place at the time of their death, it is pivotal to understand what happens next. When someone dies and they do not have a will, they died intestate, and you need to familiarize yourself with the way in which courts pass property down in these instances.

When it comes to intestate succession and inheritance, the loved ones a decedent leaves behind affect the division of property.

Taking a look at intestate succession

According to the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the portion of a decedent’s estate that a surviving spouse can receive depends on a number of factors. For example, if your spouse did not leave behind any parents or descendants, you could receive the entire estate as the surviving spouse. If they left behind a parent but did not have any descendants, you could receive the first $30,000 as well as half of the balance of their estate.

If your spouse left behind descendants and they are your issues as well, you could receive the first $30,000 and half of the estate’s balance. If they had descendants who are not your issue, you could receive half of the balance of the estate.

Addressing estate issues as a surviving spouse

It is critical to understand that when it comes to intestate succession, every estate is different. You need to take an individualized approach and understand the unique issues surrounding the estate. In the wake of losing a loved one, you might face immense emotional pain and financial challenges. However, it is critical to stay focused and have a clear understanding of how courts divide property and other steps you might need to take.