Sheppard v. Junes, 287 Va. 397, 756 S.E.2d 409

April 17, 2014

Record No: 130971

(As published by the Virginia Supreme Court)

In ruling on a motion for aid and direction brought by the administrator of an estate, the circuit court erred in distributing the estate among the decedent’s paternal half-uncle and 14 maternal side collateral heirs. A correct application of the relevant statutory provisions separates the entire estate under Code § 64.2-200(A)(5) into two moieties, each valued at one-half of the decedent’s estate. One moiety passes to his maternal kindred and in this case, under Code § 64.2-200(A)(5)(b) or Code § 64.2-200(A)(5)(d), that moiety passes to decedent’s 14 second cousins. The other moiety passes to decedent’s paternal kindred, and Code § 64.2-200(A)(5)(b) requires that moiety to pass to his half-uncle, the only member of the applicable statutory class on that side of the family. Code § 64.2-202(A) requires the paternal side moiety to be distributed entirely to the half-uncle, and neither Code §§ 64.2-200(B), 64.2-202(B), nor 64.2-203(B) affects that distribution. The judgment of the circuit court is reversed and final judgment is entered in favor of the paternal-side half-uncle.

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