If my husband passes, can I keep all personal and household items or do I split it with his adult children?

UPDATED: Jan 19, 2016

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If my husband passes, can I keep all personal and household items or do I split it with his adult children?

Also, he owned 1 vehicle in his name only.

Asked on January 19, 2016 under Estate Planning, Tennessee


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If your husband had a Will then his personal belongings will get distributed according to its terms. If he died without a Will, then he dies "intestate". Accordingly, his things will be divided according to the "intestacy" or "succession" laws of the state in which he was domiciled as of the date of his death. Typically it is 1/2-1/3 to the surviving spouse  and the remainder to be equally split among the deceased's children.
For further information, you can google the name of your state and the words "intestate distribution". Additionally, you can find information about setting up probate or possibly using the state's small estate adminstration process (which menas that probate can be avoided).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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