Next of kin in Wyoming for purposes of intestate succession basically means the same thing as “heir,” but also includes the surviving spouse. “Heir” means any person except the surviving spouse, who is entitled to property of a decedent under the statutes of intestate succession.” WY Stat § 2-1-301(xx). Next of kin in Wyoming are:
- Surviving spouse
- Parents and siblings
- Grandparents and aunts and uncles
What Next Of Kin Inherit Under Wyoming Intestate Succession Law?
The next of kin that are in line to inherit from an intestate estate in Wyoming depends on the other survivors of the decedent.
Survivors Of Decedent
Share Of Intestate Estate
Surviving spouse only
– Spouse inherits entire estate
Spouse and children
– Spouse inherits ½ of intestate estate
– Children and descendants of deceased children inherit the other ½ of intestate estate
Children, no spouse
– Children and descendants of deceased children inherit entire intestate estate
Parents, no descendants, spouse, or siblings or descendants of siblings
– Parents inherit entire estate
Siblings, no parents, no descendants, no spouse
– Siblings inherit entire estate
Parents and siblings
– Parents and siblings, and descendants of deceased siblings, inherit in equal shares
Grandparents and aunts and uncles
– Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and their descendants, inherit in equal shares
Wyoming’s rules of descent for intestate succession are contained in WY Stat § 2-4-101.
What Do Next Of Kin Inherit In Wyoming?
Next of kin heirs in Wyoming inherit probate assets from an intestate decedent. Probate assets are assets that are held in the decedent’s own name, with no beneficiary designation, and not held as joint owners with rights of survivorship.
Non-probate assets do not pass through the probate process, and are thus not inherited by next of kin heirs under the laws of intestate succession. To learn what assets are typically probate v. non-probate assets, see Probate and Non-Probate Assets Chart.
Posthumous Children Inherit Under Wyoming Law
A child conceived before the decedent’s death but born thereafter inherit as if they had been born in the lifetime of the decedent. See WY Stat. § 2-4-103.
Divorce Does Not Affect Children’s Next Of Kin Inheritance Rights In Wyoming
Wyoming law makes crystal clear that divorces of husband and wife do not affect the right of children to inherit their property. See WY Stat. § 2-4-106.
A Wyoming probate lawyer can help you determine your status and rights as next of kin.