Is my grandmother legally entitled to my grandfather’s estate if they divorced then reconciled but not married when he died?

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Is my grandmother legally entitled to my grandfather’s estate if they divorced then reconciled but not married when he died?

My grandmother and grandfather was not married at the time he passed. Even though they have lived together since before I was born. They were married to each other and divorced a couple of times. They just never remarried. My grandfather passed without a Will. Now one of the their kids is trying to take everything claiming she is his only living heir. Should it not go to my grandmother?

Asked on May 18, 2016 under Estate Planning, Tennessee

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.  Intestate means dying without a Will.
Under intestate succession, the estate would go to the surviving spouse; however, since your grandmother and grandfather were not married at the time of his death, there is no surviving spouse and she does not inherit.
Therefore, the estate is divided equally among the surviving children.  If there is a deceased child who pre-deceased your grandfather and had children, the deceased child's share of the estate goes to his/her children.  If there are no deceased children who had children, and there are no other siblings, then the entire estate goes to the heir you mentioned.


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