What rights to children have to the family home?

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What rights to children have to the family home?

My dad died over 10 years ago and my stepmother wants to sell our childhood home. At the time of his death they were renting the house out and lived in another home which she sold after his death. Her name in not on the house in question. Does she still have rights or would that be up to me and my siblings. She does not live in the house and has been renting to mostly her family.

Asked on July 26, 2011 New Hampshire

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your dad. 

Did he leave a Will?  If so, did the Will mention who was to inherit the family home?  If he left a Will and the Will stated who was to inherit the family home, the Will would be controlling.

If your dad did not leave a Will, then the rules of intestate succession would determine who inherits the home.  Intestate means dying without a Will.  Under the rules of intestate succession, your dad's entire estate would go to the surviving spouse (your stepmother).  If there had not been a surviving spouse, the estate would have gone to his children and would have been divided equally among them.  For example, if there are three  children, each would receive 1/3.  If there were three children, but one is deceased, that deceased child's share would be divided among the children of the deceased child (your dad's grandchildren). 


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