If my husband of 10 years died without a Will and the house was in his name only, can I put the deed in my name?

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If my husband of 10 years died without a Will and the house was in his name only, can I put the deed in my name?

He had 3 grown children. The kids want me to sign something, stating the house will go to them. I don’t have children and planned on giving it to them anyway. What are my rights as a surviving spouse?

Asked on September 6, 2011 under Estate Planning, Oklahoma

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

When someone dies without a Will they are said to have died "intestate". In such a situation the intestacy laws of the state where the deceased was domiciled as of their death will control. In OK succession in a case such as this is as follows:  

If there is a surviving spouse and surviving issue, one or more of whom are not also issue of the surviving spouse:

  1. an undivided 1/2 interest in the property acquired by the joint industry of the husband and wife during the marriage, and
  2. an undivided equal part in the property of the decedent not acquired by the joint industry of the husband and wife during marriage with each of the children by right of representation.

Since this can get a bit complicated, you need to consult directly with a probate attorney in your area. However, the bottom line is that you definitled appear to have inheritance rights.


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