If my mother-in-law passed away and the only Will is her husband’s in which he left everything to her unless she died first but he died 11 years ago, is that Will valid or does everything go to her only child?

My father-in-law died 11 years ago and his Will is all we can find. My mother-in-law passed last week. She didn’t have her own Will. What my husband and I are wondering if his Will is valid for her of if her only child is responsible for her estate. His Will states that if she out lives him, then everything goes to her. However, on the Will the front page says only his name. My husband and I are confused.

Asked on October 12, 2017 under Estate Planning, Illinois


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  So, when your Father in Law passed away HIS will governed his estate and he left everything to your Mother in Law.  If the assets they owned were owned jointly as Husband and Wife they passed to her automatically anyway when he died.  Now, her estate is governed under the "Intestacy" statute in the State of Illinois because she died "intestate" - without a Will.  And under that staute if a person passes away with children and no spuse - as is the case here - the children, or child in this case, inherits everything.   Good luck.

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