Is my dad’s widow entitled to any inheritance that was left by my grandmother?

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Is my dad’s widow entitled to any inheritance that was left by my grandmother?

My father passed before my grandmother and my brother and I found out through our aunt, who is the executor, that we have to give my dad’s widow a 1/3 share of the property. The property was owned by our grandparents and is to be divided between my aunts and uncles. Since my father is deceased, is his share supposed to be divided between my brother and I, or is it supposed to be divided into thirds?

Asked on December 30, 2010 under Estate Planning, New Mexico

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your losses.  All this may depend on whether or not your Grandmother left a Will and what it said about the inheritance for a pre-deceased child and whether or not your Father left a Will regarding his assets.  You need to take both Wills to an attorney to read.  There should be a provision in your Grandmother's Will that states what is to happen to the bequest to a pre-deceased beneficiary.  They are pretty standard in a Will.  Now, did your Father die with a Will or "intestate"?  If he died without a Will or intestate then you and your brother should receive a portion of his estate that did not pass to his wife by operation of law (i.e., jointly held).  And since this inheritance was not part of your Father's estate when he passed a portion should go to you two.  But if he left it all to his Wife (look at the "residuary clause": rest, residue and remainder) then you may be out of luck. Get help.  Good luck.


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