Am I entitled to inherit from my husband’s father if my husband is now deceased?

My husband recently passed away. His dad passed way a year ago and his family never told him whether there was a Will or not. He didn’t know if he was entitled to inherit being that his mother still alive. I believe his mother and only sister had planned keeping this secret before my husband even found out about his father’s death. If there is an inheritance, am I entitled to inherit in his place?

Asked on December 6, 2011 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your husband and his father.

If the father left a Will, inheritance is determined by the Will.

If your father-in-law did not leave a Will, you would not inherit anything because inheritance would be determined by the rules of intestate succession.  Intestate means dying without a Will.  If your father-in-law died intestate, his entire estate would be inherited by his surviving spouse.  If there had not been a surviving spouse, the children would have inherited their father's estate.  If there is more than one surviving child, the estate would have been divided equally among them.  If there is a deceased child (your husband), then your husband's share of the estate would go to his surviving children.  If you and your husband had more than one child, your husband's share would be divided equally among the children.

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