Virginia Inheritance Law for Siblings

By Heather Frances J.D.

If your brother or sister dies owning property in Virginia, your sibling’s will and Virginia law determine whether you inherit anything from the estate. If he left a valid will naming you as a beneficiary, you are eligible to inherit as his will directs, after his creditors are paid. If he didn’t leave a valid will, you may inherit under certain circumstances.

Inheritance by Will

You can inherit under the terms of your sibling’s will, provided the will is valid under Virginia law. The will’s validity is officially determined when the will is submitted to the probate court, but the requirements are fairly simple. The will must be in writing and signed by your deceased sibling, usually in the presence of two witnesses who must also sign the will. Your deceased sibling and the witnesses must have been competent at the time they signed the will, so if your sibling was mentally incapacitated when he signed the will, it will not be considered valid.

Surviving Spouse

In Virginia, a decedent cannot entirely disinherit his surviving spouse, even if he leaves a will attempting to do so. This spousal share, called an elective share, is one third of the estate if your sibling had children or one half of his estate if he had no descendants. If your sibling tried to disinherit his spouse by leaving his estate to his brothers and sisters, your shares will be reduced by his spouse’s elective share. If your sibling did not leave a will, his surviving spouse inherits an elective share and the rest of his estate passes under Virginia’s laws of intestate succession, which kick in when a resident dies without a valid will.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

Intestate Succession

Virginia’s intestate succession laws are default rules that determine how a decedent’s estate passes when he dies without a valid will. In Virginia, a decedent’s estate passes to his surviving spouse, children or parents before passing to his siblings. If your sibling left a surviving spouse but no descendants, his spouse inherits everything. If he had descendants, his spouse and descendants share his estate. If he had no surviving spouse, his descendants inherit everything. Finally, if he left neither spouse nor descendants, his parents inherit everything. Only after those relatives are ruled out can siblings inherit without a will.

Nieces and Nephews

If your sibling died without a surviving spouse, descendants or surviving parents, his estate will be split equally among his siblings. If a sibling that should have inherited is no longer living, his descendants inherit his share. In other words, the decedent’s nieces and nephews inherit.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
Mississippi Estate Inheritance Laws


Related articles

What if the Heir Predeceases the Decedent in Texas?

In Texas, if an heir of a person dies before him, what happens to the heir's share of the estate depends on whether the decedent left a will. Heirs commonly include the decedent's children and spouse. Because a will usually leaves instructions for the shares of predeceased heirs, the will's terms determine where the deceased heir's share goes. If the decedent died intestate, or without a valid will, Texas laws decide who inherits the heir's share.

Sibling Inheritance Law in Georgia

A properly executed will is an important step in ensuring that your property and possessions will pass to your siblings. In Georgia, certain procedures must be followed to create a valid will, and the amount transferred can vary based on the nature of the relationship between the person drafting the will and those inheriting under it. If no valid will is in existence at the time of death, the decedent's property will still pass to his heirs based on Georgia's intestate laws, which organize relatives based on their proximity to the decedent's immediate family.

Laws About Inheritance at a Father's Death in Georgia

Title 53 of the Georgia Code governs the administration of wills, estates and trusts. This code also covers the laws of inheritance for a child whose father has died. If your father had a valid will, you may inherit under the terms of the will, but the will must be taken through Georgia’s probate process first. Even if your father didn’t have a will, you may still inherit from him under Georgia law.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

How to Prove a Will When Your Subscribing Witnesses Are All Dead or Unavailable

Wills can be an effective estate planning tool for distributing property after your death. But, for its terms to be ...

Probate Laws in Missouri

When someone dies in Missouri or dies owning property in Missouri, Missouri’s probate laws outline the procedures for ...

Maryland's Inheritance Law

When a person dies, his estate, comprised of all property acquired during his lifetime, will be distributed to his ...

What Happens When Someone Dies Without a Will in Nebraska?

If someone dies with a valid will, the will leaves instructions about who should manage his estate and who should ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED