Is there any circumstance or law in which someones assets would not go to their next of kin (heirs)?

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I have been solely caring for my relative until she became completely immobile. At that point, i had to get her put into a nursing home. Upon her passing, she did not process a will or dpoa(durable power of attorney) or anything else. I know that whatever was owned in her name is said to go to her heirs. However i was wondering if there was any exception to that rule considering the heirs have not even seen nor spoken to her in at least the past 40 years. I had uprooted myself and my family from another state and came to help her when she called me. My family and i have cared for her for 10 years including the two years she was in the nursing home. To add to that, i have also been her legal guardian for those 10 years as well. Would that information be of importance as to where her assets would go? and is there any circumstance or law in which her assets would not go to her next of kin (heirs).

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Curious, does this relative have any grown children or grandchildren?   How are you related to this relative?

This is the tough part since there was no Will.... the Probate Court will use the State laws as to how the assets will be distributed.   It could be that her children and grandchildren would split everything.   Being you were her Legal Guardian [legal paperwork] could be very helpful.   The Court will take that into consideration.

Did you go to the Probate Court and fill out any paperwork?   That has to be done ASAP as Probate could take 6 months to a year.
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