If my father died without a Will 4 years ago and was married what assets, if any, might my siblings and I be entitled to?

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If my father died without a Will 4 years ago and was married what assets, if any, might my siblings and I be entitled to?

My fathers wife recently contacted us about buying our part of their house. There

was other property that she inherited while married to my dad. Would we have any legal claim to that property?

Asked on September 5, 2016 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You really need to visit with a probate attorney for a more specific answer to your questions... however... this is some general information:
If there are still assets related to your father's estate, you need to get it into probate soon... because you are creeping up on a statute of limitations issues. 
Of those assets, you or your siblings would be entitled to a pro-rata share of anything that did not pass automatically.  For example, if the house they owned, was a community asset and your dad's wife had right of survivorship... then it passed automatically to her on his death.  If the house your dad owned was his separate property, then she would be entitled to a share and you and your brothers would be entitled to a share. 
How the house was owned determines who gets what.... so before you decide to 'buy her out' of anything, you really need to visit with a probate attorney to make sure that you aren't buying something you are already entitled to a portion of.
With regard to property that she inherited before, during, or after her marriage to your dad... those assets/property remain your dad's wife separate property because they are her separate property items to dispose as she sees fit.  She can 'gift' those property items to you in a will, but she is not required to do so.


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