If my husband died and I didn’t think that he left a Will but his ex-wife presented a one that he made when married to her, what are my legal rights?

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If my husband died and I didn’t think that he left a Will but his ex-wife presented a one that he made when married to her, what are my legal rights?

Asked on January 7, 2015 under Estate Planning, Tennessee

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  You should seek legal counsel as soon as you can by an attorney in the area. Generally speaking, states have laws on the books that cut off inheritance rights of spouses when a divorce occurs.  The only way she could inherit under that Will is if he made a new Will after they were divorced.  But even then you can not be cut off under Tenessee spousal "right of election." This statute provides that you are entitled to a certain amount of the net estate depending on how long you were married.  Good luck.

 

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