If my dad’s second wife inherits his estate and she then passes away without a Will, what happens to the estate?

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If my dad’s second wife inherits his estate and she then passes away without a Will, what happens to the estate?

My dad has 3 children from his first marriage. His second marriage, there are no children. My dad suffered from a serious stroke 2 years ago and has very limited communication; he is in the care of his second wife. I don’t believe that my dad made a Will, so if he passed away his assets would go to his second wife.

Asked on January 27, 2013 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

Victor Waid / Law Office of Victor Waid

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The answer Will depend on how his assets are titled with hs second wife; if his second wife is not in title with her husband, then the assets would go to his children, but maybe subject to a widow share of any assets acquired during second marriage. If assets acquired during marriage, and held in joint tenancy or community property, and no will is in existence, then second wife would succeed to the after acquired assets by right of survivorship. If assets acquired before second marriage and not commingled with assets acquired during marriage, then assets would be his separate property and go to his children, subject to some exceptions, such as after second marriage increase in value by community assistance of the parties. Obtasin the assistance of a probate litigation lawyer when the time comes to assist you.


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