(a) The intestate share of the surviving spouse is:

Terms Used In Tennessee Code 31-2-104

  • Child: includes any individual, adopted or natural born, entitled to take as a child under this title by intestate succession from the parent whose relationship is involved and excludes any person who is only a stepchild, a foster child, a grandchild or any more remote descendant. See Tennessee Code 31-1-101
  • Parent: includes any person entitled to take, or who would be entitled to take if the child, adopted or natural born, died without a will, as a parent under this title by intestate succession from the child whose relationship is in question and excludes any person who is only a stepparent, foster parent, or grandparent. See Tennessee Code 31-1-101

(1) If there is no surviving issue of the decedent, the entire intestate estate; or

(2) If there are surviving issue of the decedent, either one-third (1/3) or a child‘s share of the entire intestate estate, whichever is greater.

(b) The part of the intestate estate not passing to the surviving spouse under subsection (a) or the entire intestate estate if there is no surviving spouse, passes as follows:

(1) To the issue of the decedent; if they are all of the same degree of kinship to the decedent they take equally, but if of unequal degree, then those of more remote degree take by representation;

(2) If there is no surviving issue, to the decedent’s parent or parents equally;

(3) If there is no surviving issue or parent, to the brothers and sisters and the issue of each deceased brother and sister by representation; if there is no surviving brother or sister, the issue of brothers and sisters take by representation; or

(4) If there is no surviving issue, parent, or issue of a parent, but the decedent is survived by one or more grandparents or issue of grandparents, half of the estate passes to the paternal grandparents if both survive, or to the surviving paternal grandparent or to the issue of the paternal grandparents if both are deceased, the issue taking equally if they are all of the same degree of kinship to the decedent, but if of unequal degree those of more remote degree take by representation; and the other half passes to the maternal relatives in the same manner; but if there is no surviving grandparent or issue of grandparent on either the paternal or maternal side, the entire estate passes to the relatives on the other side in the same manner as the half.

[Acts 1976, ch. 538, § 1; 1977, ch. 25, § 4; 1978, ch. 763, § 2; T.C.A., §§ 31-203, 31-204.]