If my mother dies without a Will, what will hapen to her property if some of it was received as the result of a divorce settlement?

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If my mother dies without a Will, what will hapen to her property if some of it was received as the result of a divorce settlement?

I have 4 older siblings. My mother married my father after the other siblings were adults 25 and older. I am the only child between my mother and father. My parents divorced when I was 12. In the divorce settlement my mother received 2 properties that belonged to my dad. In the event of my mother’s passing, does this property go to all surviving offspring or does this property go to the child that was conceived by both parents?

Asked on March 30, 2013 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Absent wording to the contrary in the divorce settlement, as long as she received this property outright, it is hers to do with as she sees fit. This means that she can sell, Will or otherwise dispose of it as she wants; so if she wants to leave it to you alone in her Will, then it is yours. A parent can disinherit a child.  If your mother dies without a Will, then her estate (which includes both real and personal property) will be split among her surviving spouse, if any, and her children. The exact distribution will depend on specific state law.


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