What are my grown 2 son’s rights if they just lost their dad?

They are now in the throws of all of the legalities. Their dad had some personal property but they are not sure if he had a Will. Their stepmother is not including them in any of this.

Asked on September 30, 2015 under Estate Planning, New York


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your sons' dad.
If he left a Will, the provisions of the Will are controlling in determining inheritance.
If your sons' dad died intestate without a Will, the rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.  Under intestate succession, the surviving spouse stepmother inherits the entire estate.  If there had not been a surviving spouse, the estate would be divided equally among the surviving children.  If there are any deceased children who had children dad's grandchildren, those grandchildren would inherit the share of the estate the deceased parent would have inherited had the deceased parent survived.
Since there was a surviving spouse stepmother, she inherits the entire estate and the children don't inherit anything under intestate succession.

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