What happens when someone dies without a will and a spouse and grown children are involved

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What happens when someone dies without a will and a spouse and grown children are involved

My dad passed away. He had a spouse but
not will. There are 5 grown children
and the spouses name is not on
anything. What happens to the house and
contents of house

Asked on March 26, 2017 under Estate Planning, Maryland


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

When somone dies without a Will, they are said to have died "intestate". Accordingly, the intestatcy laws of the state in which the deceased was domiciled as of the time of their death will control. In MD, if the deceased leaves a surviving spouse and adult children, the spouse inherits $15,000 worth of the intestate property plus 1/2 of the balance, and the children inherit everything else. At this point, since your father's wife is not being coopertaive, you should contact a local attorney; they can best advise you further after going over all of the details of your case.

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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