Heirs-At-Law

Heirs-at-law are people who are legally entitled to inherit from someone upon that person’s death in the absence of a will. State statute usually dictates who qualifies as an heir-at-law. Clues can sometimes be determined if the relationship of one of the heirs-at-law to the deceased is known as they generally fall in the same class.

A dies and has several heirs-at-law, including B who is known to have been a child of A. The other heirs-at-law are also likely children or other descendants of A.

D dies and has several heirs-at-law, including E who is a known nephew. The other heirs-at-law are also nephews or nieces of D or the descendants of nephews and nieces.

Heirs-at-law are different from individuals named specifically in a will to receive property. Those individuals are frequently called beneficiaries or legatees. A person can write a will and stipulate that property goes to individuals other than their heirs-at-law.