Who is entitled to my husband’s inheritance?

My father-in -aw passed 17 years ago. His Will stated his property should be sold and divided 5 ways by my husband and his siblings. Well there is an 8 acre farm involved and for whatever reasons the property has never been sold but the deed is in all their names. My husband passed away last month with no Will. Do I have any claim to his share of the property?

Asked on April 14, 2017 under Estate Planning, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If your husband's inheritance was transferred into his and his siblings names, then he was a co-owner of the property. Accordingly, his share is now a part of his estate unless the deed included language after their names such as "With rights of survivorship". If it did contain this language, then his siblings will be entitled to a greater percentage of the property since his share will become theirs. However, if there was no mention of survivorship then, as stated above, his share of the property is now an asset of his estate. Since he died without a Will, that means that he died "intestate". Accordingly, most state intestacy statutes provide that the estate of a deceased goes 1/2-1/3 to the surviving spouse and the remainder to the children of the deceased; if there are no children then the surviving spouse takes all. Att his point,youshould consult directly with a localattoreny as they can best advise you further as to specific state law.


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