What to do if my mother passed away over 4 years ago without a Will?

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What to do if my mother passed away over 4 years ago without a Will?

She had children from a previous marriage. She owned a house in a community property state where she lived with her husband when she passed. She purchased a house in am equitable distribution state prior to marrying her last husband. What are the inheritance laws regarding how her estate is to be passed down? Also, if our stepfather were to attempt to circumvent state inheritance laws, how would we prevent him from accomplishing that?

Asked on June 25, 2013 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

 The question is what is the intestacy law of the state where she was living when she died.  You do not say where she was living when she died, only that it was a community property state.  Here in Arizona, which is a community property state, if a married person dies leaving a spouse and children who are not the children of the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse receives one half of the deceased person's separate property and the surviving spouse's 1/2 of the community property, so 1/2 of everything.  The deceased's children would inherit the other 1/2 of everything in equal portions.


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