What are the children’s rights to their father’s estate if he remarried and died without a Will?

UPDATED: Nov 20, 2011

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What are the children’s rights to their father’s estate if he remarried and died without a Will?

My father passed away and did not have a Will. My stepmother of 10 years has gotten legal advice on what to do. Do I need to seek legal advice for my brother and I for this to turn out fair for all?

Asked on November 20, 2011 under Estate Planning, Illinois


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If your father dies without a Will or a trust having remarried, then his assets would be distributed through the state where he passed away intestacy provisions. In an intestacy proceeding, the state determines who gets the assets of the deceased person based upon the closest degree of relationship by blood lineage and marriage.

Given the somewhat complicated process of an intestacy proceeding, I recommend that you and your brother consult with a Wills and trust attorney about the situation and how to proceed. Your stepmother has already done so. Since she has, perhaps you might do so as well?

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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