How doe an estate get distributed in a re-marriage situation?

My father and mother had 3 children. My mother passed away and everything went to my father. My father remarried and had 2 more children. My father passed away 3 years ago without a will and his wife retained everything. My “stepmother” passed away 3 weeks ago without a will. My question is, how is the estate to be handled. The children from the second marriage believe they are entitled to everthing since our father died first and their mother died second. I feel since there was no will that everything should go into probate and the estate divided among the 5 children.

Asked on November 11, 2014 under Estate Planning, Tennessee


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your parents and your stepmother.

The rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.  Intestate means dying witout a Will.

You are correct that under intestate succession, your stepmother's estate will be divided equally among all five children with each child receiving 1/5 of the estate.

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