Indiana Intestacy Laws

The following are excerpts from Indiana’s intestacy laws. Please reference the full body of Indiana’s Probate Code at the Indiana General Assembly site for any changes to those laws that may not be reflected below.

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Indiana Probate Code

§ 29-1-2-1. Estate distribution
(a) The estate of a person dying intestate shall descend and be distributed as provided in this section.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c), the surviving spouse shall receive the following share:
(1) One-half (1/2) of the net estate if the intestate is survived by at least one (1) child or by the issue of at least one (1) deceased child.
(2) Three-fourths (3/4) of the net estate, if there is no surviving issue, but the intestate is survived by one (1) or both of the intestate’s parents.
(3) All of the net estate, if there is no surviving issue or parent.

(c) If the surviving spouse is a second or other subsequent spouse who did not at any time have children by the decedent, and the decedent left surviving the decedent a child or children or the descendants of a child or children by a previous spouse, the surviving second or subsequent childless spouse shall take only an amount equal to twenty-five percent (25%) of the remainder of:
(1) the fair market value as of the date of death of the real property of the deceased spouse; minus
(2) the value of the liens and encumbrances on the real property of the deceased spouse.

The fee shall, at the decedent’s death, vest at once in the decedent’s surviving child or children, or the descendants of the decedent’s child or children who may be dead. A second or subsequent childless spouse described in this subsection shall, however, receive the same share of the personal property of the decedent as is provided in subsection (b) with respect to surviving spouses generally.

(d) The share of the net estate not distributable to the surviving spouse, or the entire net estate if there is no surviving spouse, shall descend and be distributed as follows:
(1) To the issue of the intestate, if they are all of the same degree of kinship to the intestate, they shall take equally, or if of unequal degree, then those of more remote degrees shall take by representation.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (e), if there is a surviving spouse but no surviving issue of the intestate, then to the surviving parents of the intestate.
(3) Except as provided in subsection (e), if there is no surviving spouse or issue of the intestate, then to the surviving parents, brothers, and sisters, and the issue of deceased brothers and sisters of the intestate. Each living parent of the intestate shall be treated as of the same degree as a brother or sister and shall be entitled to the same share as a brother or sister. However, the share of each parent shall be not less than one-fourth (1/4) of the decedent’s net estate. Issue of deceased brothers and sisters shall take by representation.
(4) If there is no surviving parent or brother or sister of the intestate, then to the issue of brothers and sisters. If the distributees described in this subdivision are all in the same degree of kinship to the intestate, they shall take equally or, if of unequal degree, then those of more remote degrees shall take by representation.
(5) If there is no surviving issue or parent of the intestate or issue of a parent, then to the surviving grandparents of the intestate equally.
(6) If there is no surviving issue or parent or issue of a parent, or grandparent of the intestate, then the estate of the decedent shall be divided into that number of shares equal to the sum of:
(A) the number of brothers and sisters of the decedent’s parents surviving the decedent; plus
(B) the number of deceased brothers and sisters of the decedent’s parents leaving issue surviving both them and the decedent;
and one (1) of the shares shall pass to each of the brothers and sisters of the decedent’s parents or their respective issue per stirpes.




(7) If interests in real estate go to a husband and wife under this subsection, the aggregate interests so descending shall be owned by them as tenants by the entireties. Interests in personal property so descending shall be owned as tenants in common.
(8) If there is no person mentioned in subdivisions (1) through (7), then to the state.

(e) A parent may not receive an intestate share of the estate of the parent’s minor or adult child if the parent was convicted of causing the death of the child’s other parent by:
(1) murder (IC 35-42-1-1 );
(2) voluntary manslaughter (IC 35-42-1-3 );
(3) another criminal act, if the death does not result from the operation of a vehicle; or
(4) a crime in any other jurisdiction in which the elements of the crime are substantially similar to the elements of a crime listed in subdivisions (1) through (3).
If a parent is disqualified from receiving an intestate share under this subsection, the estate of the deceased child shall be distributed as though the parent had predeceased the child.

§ 29-1-2-5. Kindred of half blood; inheritance
Kindred of the half blood shall inherit the same share which they would have inherited if they had been of the whole blood.

§ 29-1-2-6. Afterborn children; inheritance
Descendants of the intestate, begotten before his death but born thereafter, shall inherit as if they had been born in the lifetime of the intestate and had survived him. With this exception, the descent and distribution of intestate estates shall be determined by the relationships existing at the time of the death of the intestate.

§ 29-1-2-7. Children born out of wedlock; inheritance
(a) For the purpose of inheritance (on the maternal side) to, through, and from a child born out of wedlock, the child shall be treated as if the child’s mother were married to the child’s father at the time of the child’s birth, so that the child and the child’s issue shall inherit from the child’s mother and from the child’s maternal kindred, both descendants and collaterals, in all degrees, and they may inherit from the child. The child shall also be treated as if the child’s mother were married to the child’s father at the time of the child’s birth, for the purpose of determining homestead rights and the making of family allowances.
(b) For the purpose of inheritance (on the paternal side) to, through, and from a child born out of wedlock, the child shall be treated as if the child’s father were married to the child’s mother at the time of the child’s birth, if one (1) of the following requirements is met:
(1) The paternity of a child who was at least twenty (20) years of age when the father died has been established by law in a cause of action that is filed during the father’s lifetime.
(2) The paternity of a child who was less than twenty (20) years of age when the father died has been established by law in a cause of action that is filed:
(A) during the father’s lifetime; or
(B) within five (5) months after the father’s death.
(3) The paternity of a child born after the father died has been established by law in a cause of action that is filed within eleven (11) months after the father’s death.
(4) The putative father marries the mother of the child and acknowledges the child to be his own.
(5) The putative father executed a paternity affidavit in accordance with IC 31-6-6.1-9(b) (before its repeal).
(6) The putative father executes a paternity affidavit as set forth in IC 16-37-2-2.1.
(c) The testimony of the mother may be received in evidence to establish such paternity and acknowledgment, but no judgment shall be made upon the evidence of the mother alone. The evidence of the mother must be supported by corroborative evidence or circumstances.
(d) If paternity is established as described in this section, the child shall be treated as if the child’s father were married to the child’s mother at the time of the child’s birth, so that the child and the child’s issue shall inherit from the child’s father and from the child’s paternal kindred, both descendants and collateral, in all degrees, and they may inherit from the child. The child shall also be treated as if the child’s father were married to the child’s mother at the time of the child’s birth, for the purpose of determining homestead rights and the making of family allowances.

§ 29-1-2-8. Adopted children; inheritance
For all purposes of intestate succession, including succession by, through, or from a person, both lineal and collateral, an adopted child shall be treated as a natural child of the child’s adopting parents, and the child shall cease to be treated as a child of the natural parents and of any previous adopting parents. However, if a natural parent of a child born in or out of wedlock marries the adopting parent, the adopted child shall inherit from the child’s natural parent as though the child had not been adopted, and from the child’s adoptive parent as though the child were the natural child. In addition, if a person who is related to a child within the sixth degree adopts such child, such child shall upon the occasion of each death in the child’s family have the right of inheritance through the child’s natural parents or adopting parents, whichever is greater in value in each case.

§ 29-1-2-9. Relationship through two lines; share
A person who is related to the intestate through two (2) lines of relationship, though under either one alone he might claim as next of kin, shall, nevertheless, be entitled to only one (1) share which shall be the share based on the relationship which would entitle him to the larger share.