If a decedent dies without a will, then Virginia law provides the lineage in which descendants inherit (after payment of funeral expenses, debts and cost of administration.) It is as follows:
- All to the surviving spouse, unless there are children (or their descendants) of a previous marriage or someone other than the surviving spouse, in which one-third goes to the surviving spouse and two-thirds are divided among the children.
- If a decedent is not married at the time that he or she passes, then everything passes to the children and their descendants.
- If there are no children, then everything passes to the decedent's father and mother or the survivor.
- If father and mother are deceased, then everything passes to the decedent's brothers and sisters and their descendants.
See Virginia Code Section 64.1, as amended, for a complete list of beneficiaries.