Intestate Succession in Rhode Island
1a. If decedent is survived by a spouse and issue:
The statutes governing intestate succession in Rhode Island and New York are different. R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 33-1-12 (West 1956) directly addresses the intestate estate. It says that any part of a decedent’s estate that does not get disposed of by a will, will pass by succession to the decedent’s heirs. Detailing the intestate succession further, R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 33-1-5 (West 1956), says that the spouse has the right to use decedent’s intestate real estate for life, along with inheriting one-half of the spouse’s personal property. The descendants, including issue, inherit everything else. Provisions are made for issue here in §§ 33-1-1 and in § 33-1-2 distribution to decedents’ parents and other kin are discussed. According to § 33-1-6 a surviving spouse in fee [simple] real estate and situated in Rhode Island shall inherit the fee simple estate, although not exceeding one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) in value. In contrast, according to EPTL § 4-1.1(a)(1), in New York when a decedent is survived by a spouse and issue, the distribution shall be fifty thousand dollars and one half of the residue and then the balance is distributed to the issue, by representation.