Who inherits the property of a person who dies intestate (person dying without a will)?

If a person dies without a will, Virginia law provides a course of descents as follows (after payment of funeral expenses, debts and cost of administration):

  • All to the surviving spouse, unless there are children (or their descendants) of someone other than with the surviving spouse, in which case, one-third passes to the surviving spouse and the remaining two-thirds is divided among all children.
  • If no surviving spouse, all assets pass to the children and their descendants.
  • If none, then all assets pass to the deceased's father and mother, or the survivor.
  • If none, than all passes to the deceased's brothers and sisters or their descendants.
  • There are further contingent beneficiaries set out in the Virginia statutes. (VA Code Section 64.1-1, as amended.)

Show All Answers

1. Where should the will be probated?
2. What does dying "testate" or "intestate" mean?
3. Who inherits the property of a person who dies intestate (person dying without a will)?
4. Is the appointment of an executor or administrator and the formal administration of an estate always required?
5. What are the time limitations regarding probate?
6. If the decedent died with a Will, what should I bring to the Clerk's Office?
7. If the decedent left no Will, what should I take to the Clerk's Office?
8. What are the basic duties of an executor or administrator?
9. Where can one go for more information or answers to specific questions?