If you die without an estate plan or will, which the state calls intestate, then the probate court will make a decision regarding your estate. Indiana’s inheritance laws will dictate who gets what from your estate. Inheritance laws account for your different heirs. Generally, though, your spouse is the first in line.

The Indiana General Assembly explains that your spouse will get your whole estate if you do not have a child or parent who could also be an heir. If you have a child, then your child and spouse will each get half of your estate. If you have no child but your parents have a claim, then your spouse gets 3/4 of your estate and your parents get the remainder.

It gets tricky if your current spouse is not your first marriage. In this case, if you did have a child with your current spouse, then the general rules apply, and he or she will get half of the estate with your child getting the rest. If you did not have a child with your current spouse but you did with a previous spouse, then your current husband or wife may only get 25% of your real property after probate determines the fair market value of real property and subtracts and liens or other debts from it. In any situation, your personal property distribution follows the general rules for distribution regardless of whether you had a child with your current spouse.

Any remaining shares of your estate that your spouse does not get either goes to your children, your parents or your siblings. If you do not have any of those surviving relatives, then it will go to your grandchildren or nieces and nephews.

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