Can I claim aninheritance of my ex-husband’s property?

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Can I claim aninheritance of my ex-husband’s property?

My ex-husband died recently leaving no Will. He has land, a mobile home and several automobiles. His bank account has his brother as his beneficiary. He had told his relatives that he wants everything sold and the money put into a trust fund for his grandchildren. He wanted to leave his children nothing. I am his first wife and we had 3 children; his second wife died 10 years ago and they had 1 child but he is not on her birth certificate and no DNAs been done to prove she is his. Can I inherit his property as a surviving ex-wife.

Asked on July 28, 2011 Alabama

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No you cannot inherit. In a situation wherein someone dies without a Will they die "intestate". This means that the laws of the state of their domicile will control. Typically, a surviving spouse (not ex-spouse) and the deceased's children will inherit. If there is no surviving spouse, then the children will equally divide the estate.

As to your ex's child with his second wife, since there is a question as to this child's paternity, your children as heirs could bring suit and request a DNA test (this assumes that there was no adoption; if so an adopted child is treated the same biological child for inheritance purposes).


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