Can I file as a surviving spouse against my husband’s estate if we haven’t lived together for 12 years?

UPDATED: Nov 29, 2010

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Nov 29, 2010Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can I file as a surviving spouse against my husband’s estate if we haven’t lived together for 12 years?

We never divorced, nor do we have a legal seperation. We were married in CA and he moved to AZ 5 years ago. He passed away 2 weeks ago leaving no Will. There are insurances, benefits, and personal belongings that my daughter should have. His sisters are detouring me anyway they can all the way down to not telling what mortuary he is at. I need to know if I can file as a surving spouse and child. How much time do I have, what to file, and where to file in AZ. His family calls me now for 2 weeks promising to do things for me, but have done nothing but turn me the wrong ways. I am living in CA.

Asked on November 29, 2010 under Estate Planning, Arizona


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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for your situation. I would hire an attorney in Arizona as soon as you can and I would have the attorney file a Petition for Administration in the Probate Court naming you as the Administrator/Personal Representative of his estate as his surviving spouse.  Under the intestacy laws you and your daughter should inherit all of your husband's estate, unless the insurance policies name a different beneficiary under a designation of beneficiary form.  But even if they do, I would file an adverse claim to the proceeds as soon as possible and ask that the insurance company interplead the funds in to court.  Get help asap.  Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption