If my father passed away and he and my mother were seperated for over 10 years, who is entitled to his belongings?

Asked on December 2, 2011 under Estate Planning, Colorado

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You both are. The fact is that at the time of your father's death she was still legally married to him. So unless there was a separation or other valid legal document in which she waived her rights to his estate, she is entitled to her share his belongings.

When someone dies without a Will, they die "intestate". This means that the intestacy laws of the state in which your father was domiciled in at the dateof his death will control succession. Typically, it is something along the lines of 1/3-1/2 to the surviving spouse and the remainder to the deceased'schildren (depending on the state and just what type of property is involved).

At this point, you should consult directly with a probate attorneyin the area. Then can best go over the specifics of your case with you and advise accordingly.


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.