When someone dies without a will, the state has rules to decide who gets their property. These rules are called “General Rules of Descent.” The first rule is that if the deceased person had a spouse but no children, the property goes to the spouse. If there are children, the spouse gets some of the property, and the children get the rest.
If no spouse exists, the property goes to the children or their children. If there are no children, the property goes to the person’s parents, brothers, sisters, or children. The rules then include other relatives like grandparents, uncles, aunts, and great-grandparents. The rules use a way of counting to decide who is related closely enough to get the property.
If there are no close relatives to inherit, the property goes to the family of the person’s dead spouse. If there is no family, the property goes to the state. These rules make sure that property is divided fairly among family members when someone dies without a will.