- If the decedent is survived by a spouse and any minor children, the minor children inherit 1/2 (split between the minor children) and the spouse inherits 1/2.
- If the decedent is survived by a spouse and children 18 or older, then the spouse inherits $15,000 and 1/2 of the rest, which is split with the adult children (who split it among themselves).
- If the decedent is survived by a spouse and parents, but no children, then the same rule applies: the spouse gets $15,000 off the top and 1/2 of the remainder, which is split with the surviving parents.
- The surviving spouse inherits it all if there are no surviving parents and no surviving children.
- If the decedent has no surviving spouse and no surviving children or grandchildren, then the estate is distributed to the surviving parent or parents and, if no parents survive, then shall be distributed to siblings (generally speaking… too complicated to explain further here).
- If the decedent has no surviving spouse, children, grandchildren or parents or siblings, then the system looks to the grandparents and their progeny. Again, it gets complicated.
- Stepchildren (and their children) could inherit under certain circumstances where none of the “blood relatives” survive the decedent. Again, it is complicated.
Learn more about Maryland probate law.