If someone dies without a Will, who is entitled to their estate -their legally separated wife and/or their son?

UPDATED: Sep 14, 2011

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If someone dies without a Will, who is entitled to their estate -their legally separated wife and/or their son?

Deceased was in CA where son lives. Legally separated wife lives in FL. Deceased had no Will. Had a couple of bank accounts with a few hundred in each. Son paid for funeral. Who gets the money in the bank accounts?

Asked on September 14, 2011 under Estate Planning, California


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the problems that have ensued.  One would need to read the separation agreement as it probably has a clause in it that states that the parties give u the rights to each others estates.  Is that what you mean by legally separated? But I think that the answer to this is solved because of the issue of the funeral bill.  Whom ever is appointed as the personal representative of the estate - or if you are doing a small estate probate - has the obligation to reimburse the party who paid for the funeral as that is the first debt of the estate that needs to be paid back.  Good luck.

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