If either my husband or I should die without a Will, what does the surviving spouse rights have?

What rights do the children have? I have been married to my husband for 10 years. He has 4 children by his first marriage and I have 1 by my first marriage. They are all grown. He is 19 years older than me. We do not have a Will.

Asked on February 4, 2013 under Estate Planning, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If a spouse dies intestate (without a Will) the rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.  The surviving spouse inherits the entire estate of the deceased spouse.  If there isn't any surviving spouse, the estate would be divided equally among the surviving children.  If there is a deceased child, who had children, those grandchildren would receive their deceased parent's share of the estate.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.