my father died 7 years ago without a will everything went to his wife my step mother am i entitled to anything?

Asked on June 29, 2009 under Estate Planning, New York


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

When you die "Intestate" - without a Will, the intestacy statute in New York applies.  From your question I am only going to copy that portion that applies to being survived by a spouse and "issue" - children.  The proceeding is done in the Surrogate's Court and it is called an Administration.  That portion of the Estate Power and Trust Law (EPTL), Article 4, Dewcent and Distribution of an Intestate Estate, is as follows:

(1) A spouse and issue, fifty thousand dollars and one-half of the residue to the spouse to the spouse, and the balance thereof to the issue by representation.

That being said, you can hold assets in New York jointly and they can pass to your spouse without having to go through an Administration.  Examples are Property held as Tenants by the Entirety, joint bank accounts, etc. If you believe that some of your Father's assets were not jointly held and were not distributed correctly then seek legal advice.

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