If a man dies and does not have a Will, does his wife inherit his estate?

UPDATED: Sep 18, 2013

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If a man dies and does not have a Will, does his wife inherit his estate?

Asked on September 18, 2013 under Estate Planning, Alabama


Tricia Dwyer / Tricia Dwyer Esq & Associates PLLC

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Hello. The answer will be dependent on your state laws governing 'intestacy'. The law in Minnesota is complex, with caveats and the like. Please seek private attorney counsel for your personal needs. Know that: Some attorneys are available seven days for emergency legal needs. Many attorneys will speak initially at no charge. Then, if legal work is performed, some attorneys will provide a reduced fee for financial hardship. Some attorneys may also assist you in a limited scope manner to conserve legal costs. All the best.



Tricia Dwyer, Esq & Associates PLLC

Phone: 612-296-9666

365 Days of the Year until 8 p.m. daily






Nathan Wagner / Law Office of Nathan Wagner

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the "intestacy" laws in the state where the man lived. In California, for example, his wife would inherit all of their community property (that is, the property he acquired during their marriage). If the man had children from another relationship, those children would inherit a portion of his separate property (which is basically the property he acquired outside of the marriage).

In many other states, his wife would inherit his entire estate. 

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

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