As a surviving wife, will I inherit my husband’s portion of his inheritance from his father’s Will once it’s probated?

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As a surviving wife, will I inherit my husband’s portion of his inheritance from his father’s Will once it’s probated?

He passed 9 years ago and made his wife POA. He said that the inheritance would be equally split between his 2 children, which includes my husband. My mother-in-law never probated the Will. Then my husband died 4 years ago; we had no children.

Asked on July 8, 2019 under Estate Planning, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Since your husband outlived his father, he would inherit his share; since you are his spouse, you will then inherit it (or share it with his children, if he had any), assuming that there is either no will (as a child of your father-in-law, he would inherit under "intestate succession," or the rules for who gets what when there is no will) or a will leaving him something. (Note: you can disinherit a child, so if there was a will leaving nothing to him, that would be legal.)
Even if he would have inherited, which seems likely, you cannot disinherit a spouse in FL; the wife will be entitled to around 30% (give or take) of your father-in-law's "estate," or that which he left behind which is inheritable. There are also things that may go directly to her outside of the estate and without probate, so your husband, and therefore you, will have no chance to inherit: a home jointly owned; vehicles jointly titled; joint bank or brokerage, etc. accounts. So depending on what he owned and he he owned it, there may be a lot you are potentially able to inherit or only a little.
A good idea would be to consult with a probate attorney: the attorney can help you understand, based on your best knowledge of what your father-in-law had owned/possessed, what you might be eligible for and your options--and the cost of those options--to push the matter along and force the estate to go through probate and also to challenge the wife's management of the estate if you believe she is not following a will or siphoning out or wasting money. You can then decide if this is a matter you want to pursue further.


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