Property distributed by intestate succession, is distributed to intestate heirs, as described below, in the following order:
- First – To Surviving Spouse – according to amounts set forth in the statute; see MCLA §700.2102
- Second – To Descendants, by representation (see above for definition); See MCLA §700.2103(a)
- Next – If there are no descendants, then to the parents equally, if both survive, or to the surviving parent; see MCLA §700.2103(b)
- Next – If there are no surviving descendants or parents, then to the descendants of the decedent’s parents (usually, in English, this means brothers/sisters), or either of them by representation; See MCLA §700.2103(c);
- Next – If there is no surviving descendant, parent, or descendant of a parent, but the decedent is survived by 1 or more grandparents or descendants of grandparents, 1/2 of the estate passes to the decedent’s paternal grandparents equally if both survive, or to the surviving paternal grandparent, or to the descendants of the decedent’s paternal grandparents or either of them if both are deceased, the descendants taking by representation; and the other 1/2 passes to the decedent’s maternal relatives in the same manner. If there is no surviving grandparent or descendant of a grandparent on either the paternal or the maternal side, the entire estate passes to the decedent’s relatives on the other side in the same manner as the 1/2. See MCLA §700.2103(d)
Other Intestate Succession Rules
Survivors must survive decedent by at least 120 hours (=5 days). This is meant to cover situations in which numerous family members may be killed in one calamity, such as a car/airplane crash, or a criminal/terrorist incident. See MCLA §700.2104
The law eliminates the distinction between whole blood and half blood, e.g., where siblings share one, but not both parents. See MCLA §700.2107.
If there are no intestate heirs, property escheats to the state. See MCLA §700.2105.