If my husband died without a Will. does that mean everything is mine to do with what I want?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If my husband died without a Will. does that mean everything is mine to do with what I want?

My stepdaughter wants to have mine and my deceased husband’s house in probate. It was in both our names, so I need to know if she can do that .

Asked on October 2, 2016 under Estate Planning, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) The house, because it was jointly titled in both your names, and any other jointly titled (with right of survivorship) assets (like a joint bank account) become yours automatically without going through probate. When an asset is jointly owned and one owner dies, the other one becomes the sole owner; it is not "inherited," but becomes yours automatically due to the joint titling.
2) In your state, anything of his not jointly titled with you (e.g. if he had stocks, bonds, or a bank account soley in his name; a vehicle or other real estate only in his name; etc.) will be distributed according to "intestate succession" (the rules for who gets what when there is no will) as follows: you as spouse get the first $100,000 of value and 1/2 of everything over that; his children by a different person (no you) inherit the other 1/2 of everything over $100k.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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