If my mother passes away and she has no Will, does my stepfather inherit all her estate?

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If my mother passes away and she has no Will, does my stepfather inherit all her estate?

Also, if my stepfather drafts a Will leaving me all his belongings, is deemed terminal and then his children have him draft a new Will leaving all his children his belongings can the second Will be contested as coercion?

Asked on October 10, 2013 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The answer to your first question depends on your state's laws of intestate succession.  Here in Arizona, all the mother's property would go to your stepfather.  However, in Florida, stepfather will only get 1/2 of your mother's estate, and you mother's children will split the other half.  Whether or not the will in your hypothetical could be contested successfully as coercion depends on a lot of facts you have not supplied.  Basically, it would depend on the behavior your stepfather's childen used in persuading their father to leave the money to them -- did they lie?  did they merely request that he change the will, or did they threaten him with something horrible if he refused to do so?  these questions and more would need to be answered.


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