Do I have rights as an ex-wife or does my ex-husband’s siblings have rights to his pension and personal items?

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Do I have rights as an ex-wife or does my ex-husband’s siblings have rights to his pension and personal items?

My ex-husband just died and there may not be any Will. He was living with someone for 4 years never married. There is a pension plan. Do I have any rights?

Asked on April 28, 2018 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Unless the terms of your divorce give you rights to any of your ex-husband's assets (i.e. his pension, etc.), you have no claim here. Once a marriage is legally terminated through divorce, a surviving former spouse loses their inheritance rights to their deceased ex-spouse's estate. This can even be true even if they were listed as a beneficiary in the deceased's Will. 


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