Am I entitled to an inheritance if my father passed away 7 months ago without a Will?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Am I entitled to an inheritance if my father passed away 7 months ago without a Will?

My stepmother has the house, the property, and is receiving checks from his retirement and possibly social security. Am I entitled to anything considering im his biological child?

Asked on June 29, 2018 under Estate Planning, Iowa


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

When some dies "intestate" (i.e. without a Will), then the intestacy laws of the state in which they were domicled when they died will control. Typically, this means 1/2-1/3 to the survivng spouse, if any, and the remainder to be equally divided between the children of the deceased. Accordingly, while you have no rights to her Social Security compensation (even if she is drawing off of your late father's record), you do have right to the house an other property, although cetain pension benefits, 401's, etc. go directly to the named beneficiary. At this point, you should consult directly with a local probate attorney who can best advise you further as to your rights.

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 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.

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