What are my rights to my father’s estate if he died without a Will?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What are my rights to my father’s estate if he died without a Will?

He solely owned a home but got married 8 years ago. The home has been in my family for over 45 years. It was my grandparents. My father’s widow wants to keep the home solely. What rights does she have to take the home? I feel the house is mine, my sister’s and his wife’s jointly.

Asked on January 8, 2016 under Estate Planning, Florida


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your father.
Since your father died intestate (without a Will), the rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.
Under intestate succession, your father's entire estate is inherited by his surviving spouse.  Therefore, she inherits the house.
If there had not been a surviving spouse, your father's estate including the house would have been divided equally between the surviving children and if there are any deceased children, who had children (your father's grandchildren), they would inherit the share their deceased parent would have inherited had the deceased parent survived.

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