What to do if my husband died without a Will and he has children from 2 different marriages?

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What to do if my husband died without a Will and he has children from 2 different marriages?

We have 2 children and 2 homes, both of which my name is on also. The problem is that he has 2 other children from a previous marriage. He would not have left them anything but I understand the law without a Will means they are entitled to something. Can I have a legal form drawn up so that they could sign turning what would be their 1/8 each over to me?

Asked on May 10, 2013 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

Nathan Wagner / Law Office of Nathan Wagner

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

They could sign a "Disclaimer," which would make the estate be distributed as if the disclaiming heirs had died before your husband. But, that does not mean their shares would pass to you. Depending on the law in your state, those shares might pass to the disclaiming heirs' children, or they might go back into the estate to be divided among all the remaining heirs. 

They could also just give their inheritance to you, but they might have to pay federal and/or state gift tax for doing that. 

So it can be done, but as a practical matter, I think you may have some trouble convincing your stepchildren to just sign away their inheritance. 


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