Death Without a Will in Michigan

By Mark Vansetti

Under Michigan law, when a person dies without a will, it is said the person died intestate. The law has rules for what happens to a person's property when a person dies without a will. These rules are necessary because there is no will to provide direction as to how the deceased wished to distribute his property. The probate court will distribute property that was not owned jointly, as well as property that did not have a named beneficiary, according to Michigan law.

Probate Courts

When a person dies intestate, Michigan probate courts see to the administration of the deceased person's estate. Based on Michigan laws of intestate succession, the probate court will establish a probate estate. This is how the probate court determines who will act as the decedent's personal representative and who will receive any property or assets the decedent left.

Surviving Spouse

If the deceased had a surviving spouse, the spouse will receive the entire estate, unless he had a surviving parent, surviving child or surviving grandchild. Unless the deceased has children or grandchildren that are not related to the surviving spouse, the spouse will receive the first $150,000 of the estate. Of the remaining estate, the surviving spouse will then receive one-half (if there are surviving children or grandchildren) or three-quarters if there is a surviving parent.

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If there is a surviving spouse, the children will receive one-half of the estate after the first $150,000 passes to the surviving spouse. If the decedent dies intestate without a surviving spouse, the estate will go to the children, if any. Under Michigan law, the children must divide the estate equally when there is no surviving spouse.

Grandchildren, Parents and Siblings

Under certain circumstances, part or all of the estate may be passed to the grandchildren, parents or siblings of the decedent. When a decedent dies without a surviving spouse or children -- but with grandchildren, the grandchildren will split their parent's share of the estate as children of the decedent. If the decedent did not have a spouse and did not have children, the estate will go to parents of the decedent or siblings of the decedent in equal share.

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Intestacy Rules in Colorado

Colorado's intestacy rules are similar to the rules found in other states but don't provide for inheritances by remote relatives, such as distant cousins. Colorado's laws allow inheritances by a birth parent who adopted out the deceased person or any birth children the deceased person put up for adoption, but only to prevent the estate from going to Colorado because of a lack of heirs. State laws set the inheritance rules for the estate of a person who died intestate; however, these rules don't take the financial needs of his heirs into consideration.

How to Get a Copy of a Probated Will

A copy of a probated will is useful for a variety of reasons, including family tree research, property title research, and preparing for a legal challenge to the original probate proceedings. Once a will has been through probate -- the legal proceeding to settle the estate -- the will is considered public record. You can get a copy of a probated will by visiting the court where probate occurred.

South Carolina Estate Laws

All of the property a person acquires during his life is collectively called an estate. When that person dies, the estate passes to his beneficiaries. In South Carolina, an estate can pass by will or through intestate succession. Additionally, certain property passes automatically based on type of ownership or through spousal right.

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