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Distributing Assets Under the Laws of Intestacy in DC

Intestacy laws are default laws that provide for the administration of a decedent’s estate when they die without leaving a valid last will and testament. That can occur if a decedent dies and there is a will but it is found by the court to be invalid or if the decedent simply had no will to present to the court to determine its validity. In each case, the estate would be administered as an intestate estate. The laws of intestacy address the pattern of distribution and what certain heirs and beneficiaries are entitled to. An attorney can help you with distributing assets under the laws of intestacy in DC.

Factors Affecting Shares Parents and Spouses May Receive

The main factor in DC that will have an impact on the shares that spouses, descendants, or parents will receive is who was living at the time the decedent died. An attorney can examine the specific circumstances to explain how intestacy laws would impact the distribution of assets.

For example, in DC, if there was a surviving spouse and no descendants or parents, the spouse would get the entire estate. However, if there are a surviving spouse and a parent of the deceased, and no descendants, the spouse would receive three-fourths of the estate assets, the parent the other fourth.

How Assets Are Distributed Among Children in DC Under the Laws of Intestacy

How the assets are distributed to a decedent’s children in DC depends on who else is living at the time of the decedent’s death. Specifically, whether there is a surviving spouse or parent of the decedent. For example, if there are a surviving spouse and children of the decedent, the surviving spouse would receive two-thirds of the estate and the children would share the remaining third. However, if there was no surviving spouse or parent of the decedent, the children would share the entire estate.

When Children Are Not Biologically Related

The obstacles that an intestacy lawyer may face when working with a descendant who is not biologically related to the deceased parent in DC depend on the relationship of the individual to the decedent. If the decedent died without a will and there is a descendant by adoption, that child would be treated the same as a biological child of the decedent.

If, however, a child is not biologically related to the deceased, but was raised by the decedent without a formal adoption or is a stepchild, that person is not treated the same way as a biological or adopted child. Determining that legal relationship is one obstacle and determining if they are entitled to receive assets is another.

When Would the Property Go to the City?

If DC law deems the property will go to the city because there are no surviving descendants or spouses, it would be after it has been determined that there were no heirs surviving beyond the maternal and paternal grandparents of the decedent. That means there also were no surviving siblings and no nieces or nephews. If so, the assets would go to the grandparents’ family tree. If there were no living heirs in those two lines, the property would then go to the city.

Ask an Attorney About Distributing Assets Under the Laws of Intestacy in DC

Distributing assets under the laws of intestacy in DC can be complex. Therefore, it is important to work with a knowledgeable attorney. Call today to learn more.