If someone is only married for 6 months are they entitled to their deceased spouse’s house?

UPDATED: Oct 15, 2011

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If someone is only married for 6 months are they entitled to their deceased spouse’s house?

My parents were married 43 years. 13 months ago my mom passed away. 6 months ago my dad remarried and now he has passed. Is the 6 month wife entitled to my parent’s house?

Asked on October 15, 2011 under Estate Planning, California


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your parents.

If your dad left a Will, the beneficiary designated to inherit the house would receive it.

If your dad did not leave a Will, the rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.  Intestate means dying without a Will.  Under the rules of intestate succession, the surviving spouse inherits the estate.  If there wasn't any Will, the new wife is the surviving spouse and would inherit the house.  The fact that the marriage was only six months is not considered because she is still the surviving spouse.

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