If my=y father died and besides my stepmother I’m the only living child, does she have the right to everything?

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If my=y father died and besides my stepmother I’m the only living child, does she have the right to everything?

He did not leave a Will. I personally have no way to know if he had a retirement or life insurance or any other financial accounts. Do I have the right to anything? She just recently went to probate but I just found out.

Asked on April 11, 2015 under Estate Planning, Kentucky

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your father.

Since he died without Will, the rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.  Intestate means dying without a Will.

Under intestate succession, the surviving spouse inherits the entire estate.  Therefore, your stepmother inherits your father's entire estate.

If there had not been a surviving spouse, you, the child, would have inherited your father's estate. If there had not been a surviving spouse, and if you have deceased siblings who had children, they would inherit their deceased parent's share and the estate would be divided between you and them.  If you did not have any deceased siblings who left children, then you would have inherited your father's entire estate if there had not been a surviving spouse (your stepmother).

 


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