If meceased mother-in-law’s house is selling but my wife has passed away, am I or my children entitled to her share?

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If meceased mother-in-law’s house is selling but my wife has passed away, am I or my children entitled to her share?

My wife’s mother’s house went up for sale after her death which was 2 years ago. It is now finally selling, however, my wife passed away last year. Her mother’s Will says the house is to be split between her 2 children. Am I as her spouse, or our children, entitled to her share? Or does it all now go to the sole surviving child?

Asked on May 8, 2012 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

Thomas Reilly / Albert W Chianese & Associates

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your mother in laws will named your wife as a beneficiary of the estate and your wife was living at the time anything given to her would pass through her estate. As long as the house was still in your mother in laws name at the time of her death then your wife's estate would be entitled to its share.  When the house is sold the proceeds shoudl be deposited into an estate account of your mother in laws and distributed from there.  I assume that your mother in laws estate has been probabted in Court and an executor has been named.   That executor must distribute the estate according to your mother in laws will.  In this case the executor needs to distribute what ever your wife was given through your mother in laws will to the estate of your wife.  If you have not done so already you will need to set up an estate for your wife.  If she had a will there would be a named executor, if there is no will you can petition to be the administrator of her estate. If tehre was a will then that will dictate how the property will be distributed.  If there is no will New York law will dictate.  You should contact the probabte department of your county or a probabte attorney to discuss what you need to do.

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your losses.  If your wife post deceased your Mother in Law then her share should go in to her estate and it is governed by her Will or the intestacy statutes.  So the answer here is yes, it should go to you and the children.  Good luck.


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