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


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.

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