What to do if my brother’s wife died recently and his name is not on the deed to the house and there is no Will?

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What to do if my brother’s wife died recently and his name is not on the deed to the house and there is no Will?

They have lived at the house for almost 10 years. She has a daughter from a previous marriage, who is married and lives elsewhere. What is the law regarding this situation?

Asked on March 9, 2015 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Since there wasn't any Will, the rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.  Intestate means dying without a Will.

Under intestate succession, your brother as the surviving spouse, inherits his wife's entire estate including the house.  The wife's daughter has no claim.  If there had not been a surviving spouse, then the daughter would have inherited her mother's entire estate (assuming she is the only child).


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