If you die without a valid will while residing in the State of Indiana, you are said to have died "intestate." In order to determine who will receive your property if you die intestate, the State of Indiana 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 Indiana intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession statutes.
(a) The estate of a person dying intestate shall descend and be distributed as provided in this section.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c), the surviving spouse shall receive the following share:
(1) One-half (1/2) of the net estate if the intestate is survived by at least one (1) child or by the issue of at least one (1) deceased child.
(2) Three-fourths (3/4) of the net estate, if there is no surviving issue, but the intestate is survived by one (1) or both of the intestate's parents.
(3) All of the net estate, if there is no surviving issue or parent.
(c) If the surviving spouse is a second or other subsequent spouse who did not at any time have children by the decedent, and the decedent left surviving the decedent a child or children or the descendants of a child or children by a previous spouse, the surviving second or subsequent childless spouse shall take only an amount equal to twenty-five percent (25%) of the remainder of:
(1) the fair market value as of the date of death of the real property of the deceased spouse; minus
(2) the value of the liens and encumbrances on the real property of the deceased spouse.
The fee shall, at the decedent's death, vest at once in the decedent's surviving child or children, or the descendants of the decedent's child or children who may be dead. A second or subsequent childless spouse described in this subsection shall, however, receive the same share of the personal property of the decedent as is provided in subsection (b) with respect to surviving spouses generally.
(d) The share of the net estate not distributable to the surviving spouse, or the entire net estate if there is no surviving spouse, shall descend and be distributed as follows:
(1) To the issue of the intestate, if they are all of the same degree of kinship to the intestate, they shall take equally, or if of unequal degree, then those of more remote degrees shall take by representation.
(2) If there is a surviving spouse but no surviving issue of the intestate, then to the surviving parents of the intestate.
(3) If there is no surviving spouse or issue of the intestate, then to the surviving parents, brothers, and sisters, and the issue of deceased brothers and sisters of the intestate. Each living parent of the intestate shall be treated as of the same degree as a brother or sister and shall be entitled to the same share as a brother or sister. However, the share of each parent shall be not less than one-fourth (1/4) of the decedent's net estate. Issue of deceased brothers and sisters shall take by representation.
(4) If there is no surviving parent or brother or sister of the intestate, then to the issue of brothers and sisters. If the distributees described in this subdivision are all in the same degree of kinship to the intestate, they shall take equally or, if of unequal degree, then those of more remote degrees shall take by representation.
(5) If there is no surviving issue or parent of the intestate or issue of a parent, then to the surviving grandparents of the intestate equally.
(6) If there is no surviving issue or parent or issue of a parent, or grandparent of the intestate, then the estate of the decedent shall be divided into that number of shares equal to the sum of:
(A) the number of brothers and sisters of the decedent's parents surviving the decedent; plus
(B) the number of deceased brothers and sisters of the decedent's parents leaving issue surviving both them and the decedent;
and one (1) of the shares shall pass to each of the brothers and sisters of the decedent's parents or their respective issue per stirpes.
(7) If interests in real estate go to a husband and wife under this subsection, the aggregate interests so descending shall be owned by them as tenants by the entireties. Interests in personal property so descending shall be owned as tenants in common.
(8) If there is no person mentioned in subdivisions (1) through (7), then to the state.
There are additional statutes pertaining to the distribution of intestate property in the State of Indiana. To view those statutes, please click here.
[Reference - Indiana's Intestacy laws].
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