What happens if my father died without a Will before his divorce papers were signed by the court and he acquired a boat pre-marriage?

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What happens if my father died without a Will before his divorce papers were signed by the court and he acquired a boat pre-marriage?

Who receives the boat – his daughter or his estranged wife?

Asked on May 19, 2013 under Estate Planning, Minnesota

Answers:

Tricia Dwyer / Tricia Dwyer Esq & Associates PLLC

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Hello. I am sorry if you have lost your father.  If you face this issue and the dollar amount is more than nominal, I urge you to confer with a private attorney for legal advice. You should not delay, because there would be time deadlines for action in a matter such as this. A pre-maritally owned boat is personal property, and it may or may not be considered to be non-marital property by the court. One question would be whether that boat had been financed during the marriage. Also, even if the boat were deemed non-marital, the court may in certain instances subject the item to division in the divorce, to avert severe hardship to the other party, for instance.  Should you need legal help: Some attorneys, myself included, are available seven days for emergency legal needs. Some attorneys, myself included, will confer at no charge, for free; then, if legal work is performed, some attorneys, myself included, will provide a reduced fee for need. All the best. 

Matthew Majeski / Majeski Law, LLC

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the boat was considered non-marital in the decree (usually pre-marital property is) it goes to him and thus his intestate estate.  If wife was granted the boat in the divorce, this becomes a stickier point and could be litigated if the parties disagreed.


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