If my grandmother passed about 2 years ago without a Will, what are my late uncle’s wife’s rights to a part of the estate?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If my grandmother passed about 2 years ago without a Will, what are my late uncle’s wife’s rights to a part of the estate?

She had 5 children when she passed and had 2 properties. My dad (her son) is living at 1 of the properties and I am paying the mortgage but in her name. Now, 1 of the siblings passed (about a year ago), also without a Will. His wife is involved and she is the only one who disagrees with how they property should be divided. Since he had no Will leaving her rights to his mother’s property, is she legally entitled to anything of my grandmothers?

Asked on November 30, 2015 under Estate Planning, Virginia


G.J., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If your grandmother died before your uncle, then she does have a right to that property. When a person dies without a Will, their property goes to either the spouse or the children (if there is not spouse). In this situation, since your uncle was alive at the time of your grandmother's death, he inherited part of her property rights. When your uncle died without a will his spouse automatically inherits his property, even if there was no will leaving her his interest.

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