If an unmarried man dies without a Will but leaves a child, does the child inherit all?

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If an unmarried man dies without a Will but leaves a child, does the child inherit all?

My fiance past away in an accident and had no Will; his only son is mine. Does everything go to my 1 year-old son and therefore to me? The coroner called me and told me that I was the only person able to pick up my fiance’s belongings that were in his car at the time of the accident since they belong to my son and therefore belong to me. She said that my fiance’s parents would not be able to get them. Does that go for all his other stuff as well – the savings, trusts, furniture, etc. (does it belong to him and therefore me)? My fiance’s parents are trying to say everything in our home is theirs and that the bank accounts and trusts will be put away in my son’s name until he turns 18?

Asked on July 28, 2011 California

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First of all, any of your personal property in the residence is yours. As to your fiance's property, all of it will go your son to be put in a trust account until he reaches majority age, 18.

The fact is that when someone dies without a Will they die "intestate". This means that the intestacy laws of the state that they were domiciled in when they died will control. Such an estate is divided between a surviving spouse, if any and the deceased's children. In this instance since there was no spouse, your son as the only child will inherit his father's estate.


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