death of a spouse before a divorce is final

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death of a spouse before a divorce is final

If one spouse dies before the divorce is final what becomes of the deceased individuals joint marital assets

Asked on August 24, 2018 under Family Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

They are distributed as per the deceased's will, if there is one. If there is no will, then that person's share of marital assets (and also their separate property--e.g. anything they owned pre-marriage) is distributed as per your state's rules for "intestate succession," or who gets what when there is no will. In CO, that means:
1) If there are no descendents (children, grandchildren) of that person, his/her spouse inherits everything, since the divorce not being final means they are still married at that time.
2) If there are descendents, but they are all of the surviving spouse and the deceased one (the deceased did not have children with anyone else), the spouse still gets it all.
3) If the deceased had descendents with someone else, the surviving spouse gets the first $150k of value of assets plus 1/2 the amount over $150k; the descendets gets the rest.


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