If a widower remarriesand dies before updating his Will, what happens to his estate?

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If a widower remarriesand dies before updating his Will, what happens to his estate?

Does his current wife have any legal claim to some/all of his estate? The existing Will names his deceased wife as his heir, then his children if she is deceased.

Asked on September 1, 2011 Kentucky

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Yes, generally speaking under the law in most states, if you were the lawfully wedded wife at the time of his death (but not the one mentioned in the Last Will and Testament) then you have what is known as a "right of election" under the law. A right of election means that you have a right to file an objection of sorts to the probate of the Will as written and to claim the inheritance that is due a wife under the law in the state in which you live.  But I have to say that I think that the statutes written in the state of Kentucky differ some what as to real property, etc., where the Wife is concerned so I would check with an attorney in your area just to be sure.  Good luck.


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