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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 5 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).


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