If a married woman with a minor child dies, does the woman’s real property then become property of her husband?

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If a married woman with a minor child dies, does the woman’s real property then become property of her husband?

Is the husband then the executor of the woman’s estate, is he automatically the legal guardian of the child? I am the father of the woman and we had a piece of property in AR., where I reside, that was in the process of being transferred to a Homestead Trust, however, she passed away while I had the property vested in her in deed and title. Agreements were signed by all parties and there is no contention on any issue, I just need to know what the inheritance laws are in MS. in order to proceed in AR. Does her husband have the authority to act as her executor and guardian of the minor child?

Asked on August 2, 2011 Mississippi

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  A father and mother are always the natural guardian of their children but I am not sure here that the child you speak of is the child of the husband of the married woman.  If the child is not and the husband has not adopted the child then no, he is not the guardian.  You are the Father of the Mother, correct?  I am assuming here that she dies without a Will, correct?  Then the husband has to be appointed as the personal representative of her estate to act with regard to her assets that were not jointly held.  Assets jointly held would pass to the husband automatically upon her death.  As for the trust, please seek consultation from an    attorney in your area on the matter and where the matter now stands.  If she had executed all the document prior to her death then you could conceivably force the estate to follow through with them.  Good luck.   


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