What is a wife’s entitlement to her deceased husband’s estate?

UPDATED: Dec 21, 2011

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What is a wife’s entitlement to her deceased husband’s estate?

My stepfather just died. Mother and he were married 16 years and lived in his house. His Will leaves the house to his children. Does my mother have any stake in the house because of length of marriage? She is currently in nursing home.

Asked on December 21, 2011 under Estate Planning, Florida


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not your mother is entitled to a share of your stepfather's estate depends upon what his Will states what he leaves your mother, if the state that your mother and stepfather resided in is a community property state, and what the legal title to the home that you have written is in.

If the home is in joint tenancy in the names of your mother and stepfather, she ends up receiving title to it in its entirety by operation of law. I suggest that you consult with a Wills and trust attorney over the situation you are writing about. The attorney consulted needs to review the Will of the stepfather and title to the home you have written about.

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