If my son passed away 2 weeks ago, can his wife take his truck even though it was purchased before they got married?

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If my son passed away 2 weeks ago, can his wife take his truck even though it was purchased before they got married?

They were seperated before he passed away.

Asked on April 23, 2012 under Estate Planning, South Carolina

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your son.

If your son left a Will, the Will is controlling as to disposition of the truck. 

If your son did not leave a Will, the rules of intestate succession will determine inheritance.  Intestate means dying without a Will.  If your son and his wife were separated with no intent to reunite, then there is no surviving spouse and she would not have any claim to the truck.  The truck would go to your son's surviving children.  If there aren't any surviving children, the truck would go to your son's surviving parents and therefore you would inherit the truck.

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  They were not legally separated with an agreement, correct?  Then what you are going to have to do is to go to court and ask to be appointed as the administrator of his estate. I have to tell you though that if they were married at the time he passed away then she is entitled to inherit as his spouse.  If you wish to contest the taking of an asset that would be an estate asset rather than would have passed to her as a joint owner then you have to do that.  Seek legal help.  Good luck.


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