In Mississippi, if a person dies without leaving a valid will, their estate is distributed according to the state’s intestate succession laws. The specific rules for intestate succession can vary depending on the circumstances, such as whether the deceased person had a surviving spouse, children, or other relatives. Here is a general overview of how the estate would be distributed:
- Surviving Spouse: If the deceased person had a surviving spouse and no children, parents, or siblings, the entire estate typically goes to the spouse.
- Surviving Spouse and Children: If the deceased person had a surviving spouse and children, the spouse usually receives a portion of the estate, and the remaining assets are divided among the children. The exact distribution can depend on the number of children.
- Children but No Surviving Spouse: If the deceased person had children but no surviving spouse, the estate is typically divided equally among the children.
- Parents and siblings: If there is no surviving spouse or children, the estate may go to the deceased person’s parents and siblings. If a sibling has already passed away, their share may go to their children (nieces and nephews of the deceased).
The order of priority for intestate succession in Mississippi can become more complex when there are no surviving close relatives. In such cases, the estate may eventually pass to more distant relatives, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins.
Property that passes outside the estate like joint tenant property would pass according to joint ownership rules.