If my stepfather recently passed but did not have a Will, what is she and his step-kids entitled to?

They had been married for 16 years. He had 5 children from a previous marriage and 5 step-children that he thought of as his own. His children have had little to do with him in the time they were marriage. He had a business, real estate and other assests.

Asked on August 13, 2012 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  When you say "she" do you mean his wife and your Mother?  She is entitled to a portion of the estate as his Wife.  Assets that have been jointly held by them (such as a house, bank account, etc.) will pass to her automatically and do not go through probate. If there are other assets not jointly held, she will get 1/2 of the entire estate and 1/2 to the decedent's descendants "per stirpes", meaning a portion to each of his kids equally.  If he did not adopt his step children they will not inherit. Good luck.


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