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If a spouse and minor children (but not stepchildren) survive the decedent, the spouse receives onehalf of the estate while the other half is divided equally amongst the minor children. If a spouse and all adult children (not including stepchildren) survive the decedent, the spouse inherits $15,000 in addition to half of the estate. The adult children share the remaining part of the estate equally. If one of the adult children died before the decedent did, that child's share goes to that child's children. If only children survive the decedent, the estate is equally divided amongst them. If the spouse and the decedent's parents survive the decedent, the spouse receives $15,000 in addition to onehalf of the estate, and the remaining share of the estate is divided equally amongst the surviving parents. If only one parent survives the decedent, that parent inherits the remaining estate balance. If only a spouse survives the decedent, the spouse receives the entire estate. If the only surviving relatives are parent(s) the estate is divided equally between both parents. If only one parent survives, that parent receives the entire estate. If the decedent is survived by sibling(s) but not by a spouse, children or parents, the siblings divide the estate equally. If one of the siblings predeceased the decedent, that siblings' children receive that sibling's share. If the decedent is survived by grandparent(s) but not by a spouse, children, parents or siblings, the grandparents divide the estate. If greatgrandparent(s) survive the decedent and there is no surviving spouse, children, parents, siblings or grandparents, the greatparents divide the estate equally. Stepchildren only inherit the estate if there are no surviving spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandparents or greatgrandparents. If the decedent is not survived by any of the above, the estate goes to Maryland's Board of Education, unless the decedent received long term care benefits from Maryland's Medical Assistance Program. If the decedent received longterm care benefits from Maryland's Medical Assistance Program, instead of the estate going to Maryland's Board of Education will go to Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified elder lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local elder attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.