Dying Intestate Indiana

Married with no children
1) If there are no children or parents of the deceased, the surviving spouse inherits the entire estate. If the decedent is survived by no children but is survived by parents, the surviving spouse’s share is three quarters of the net estate. The deceased’s parents receive the balance.
2) Under a special provision of the law, if the surviving spouse is a second or other subsequent spouse who did not have any children by the decedent, and the decedent left children or the descendants of those children by a previous spouse, the surviving spouse gets only a life estate in one third of the lands of the deceased spouse. Full ownership of those lands vests at once in the decedent’s children or their descendants, subject only to the life estate of the surviving spouse. The second or subsequent childless spouse does, however, receive the same share of the decedent’s estate as outlined for surviving spouses generally.
Married with child or children
If the decedent is survived by at least one child or a descendant of that child, the surviving spouse is entitled to one half of the net estate.
Order of estate distribution if spouse survives
1) spouse (as indicated above)
2) decedent’s children or their children
3) decedent’s parents (Their share shall not be less than one fourth of the net estate.)
4) siblings
5) siblings’ children
6) decedent’s grandparents
7) aunts and uncles and their children
No spouse survives but there are other relatives
Same order of distribution as above
Order of estate distribution if decedent not married
Same order of distribution as above
No surviving relatives
The estate passes to the state of Indiana.
State link
Special notes
Kin of half blood inherit the same share which they would have inherited if they had been of the whole blood.

2 thoughts on “Dying Intestate Indiana


    My husband died on may 28,2001 while taking a medication called Vioxx. I was contacted by and filed suit along with many others and families of others that died or left with damage from this drug against Merck Pharmaceutical . The suit has just come to a close and points were awarded along with an estimated dollar amount. The problem now is they are just now asking me again if my husband had a will. I am about to lose my job and my health is bad, it would help me financially and my stress level if I could get this resolved soon. My health is also now bad. Our daughter and I live together and I have a will leaving anything of mine to her. Need to know how to get the suit settled without more delay – 8 years has been a long time and they knew from the start that we had never made a will when my husband died. Please advise me on this.

    1. Minna Vallentine

      Mary: I am sorry for your loss. It sounds as if you are facing some very difficult challenges in your life right now. However, the answers to your questions may not be as simple as you would like. Our legal advisory committee suggested that you speak with an attorney who practices in your state and whose practice focuses on issues relating to probate. In many states, there are legal expedited processes that allow a surviving spouse and/or heirs to speed up the process by which they can gain control of the deceased’s assets. The local attorney you contact should be well versed in these processes and should be able to help you. Sorry I can’t be of more assistance but I wish you good luck in getting your questions resolved.

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