One of the first steps in a probate proceeding is determining potential heirs of the decedent. This search typically starts with identifying who are the decedent’s natural heirs, in other words those who would inherit if the decedent died without a will, known as dying intestate. This starts with spouses and descendants of the deceased, and if none exist, turns to parents, then sibling and nieces/nephews of deceased sibling, then extended family, including grandparents, aunts and uncles, then cousins, etc. In the search for the first legitimate heir, there may be some “unworthy heirs.”
We all have some sense of what constitutes an unworthy heir: a son or daughter estranged from the family or a grandchild who would take a gift and squander it on illicit drugs. This is different from what the courts view as unworthy heirs.
To read more, please click the PDF below...