who is my mom’s legal next of kin?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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who is my mom’s legal next of kin?

My mom died yesterday. She has a will naming me as her only inheritorshe has no

She was separated but not divorced from her husband. She has lived separate from
him for almost 2 years.

Asked on October 3, 2019 under Estate Planning, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Because they did not divorce, they were still married, albeit separated, at the time of your mother's death. That means that her separated or estranged husband is still entitled to receive an elective share of her estate equal to 1/3 of the total value of her estate (of everything, real estate, vehicles, investments, personal property, cash in the bank, etc.) she left behind. It doesn't matter that her will tried to leave it all to you you, unfortunately; in your state (MD), like most states, you cannot disinherit a spouse 100% and the law provides a share they must receive. If she and he had divorced, he would receive nothing.

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