If there is a will, then that document would control as to who gets what;
if there is no will, then the laws of intestate succession apply.
First the court would determine what is community property (acquired during the marriage) and what is separate property (acquired prior to the marriage, or inherited during the marriage)
Then, pursuant to section 45-2-102, if there are children, the spouse receives 1/4 of the separate propertyand 1/2 of the community property. If there are no children, then the surviving spouse receives 100% of everything.
Step children only inherit via a will; they do not inherit via intestate succession.
If the surviving spouse "disclaims" (rejects) the inheritance, then it would go to the next of kin; ie to the parents of the deceased; then to the siblings of the deceased, to the nieces/nephews, etc; they try to locate the next of kin and then that group will divide the assets equally. More information here:
Here is the judge's handbook on probate
Further questions? Please post here to continue the chat.
Satisfied? Kindly rate positively so I receive credit for assisting you.
(no additional charges are incurred).
Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.