[ Text of section effective until March 31, 2012. Repealed by 2008, 521, Sec. 7. See 2008, 521, Sec. 44 as amended by 2010, 409, Sec. 23 and 2011, 224.]
Section 3. When a person dies seized of land, tenements or hereditaments, or of any right thereto, or entitled to any interest therein, in fee simple or for the life of another, not having lawfully devised the same, they shall descend, subject to his debts and to the rights of the husband or wife and minor children of the deceased as provided in this and in the two preceding chapters and in chapter one hundred and ninety-six, as follows:
(1) In equal shares to his children and to the issue of any deceased child by right of representation; and if there is no surviving child of the intestate then to all his other lineal descendants. If all such descendants are in the same degree of kindred to the intestate, they shall share the estate equally; otherwise, they shall take according to the right of representation.
(2) If he leaves no issue, in equal shares to his father and mother.
(3) If he leaves no issue and no mother, to his father.
(4) If he leaves no issue and no father, to his mother.
(5) If he leaves no issue and no father or mother, to his brothers and sisters and to the issue of any deceased brother or sister by right of representation; and, if there is no surviving brother or sister of the intestate, to all the issue of his deceased brothers and sisters. If all such issue are in the same degree of kindred to the intestate, they shall share the estate equally, otherwise, according to the right of representation.
(6) If he leaves no issue, and no father, mother, brother or sister, and no issue of any deceased brother or sister, then to his next of kin in equal degree; but if there are two or more collateral kindred in equal degree claiming through different ancestors, those claiming through the nearest ancestor shall be preferred to those claiming through an ancestor more remote.
(7) If an intestate leaves no kindred and no widow or husband, his estate shall escheat to the commonwealth; provided, however, if such intestate is a veteran who died while a member of the Soldiers' Home in Massachusetts or the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke, his estate shall inure to the benefit of the legacy fund or legacy account of the soldiers' home of which he was a member.