What are a child’s rights to their deceased parent’s property?

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What are a child’s rights to their deceased parent’s property?

My ex-mother-in-law owned almost an acre of land. My ex-husband died before she did. We had a son together. When my ex-mother-in-law died there wasn’t a Will. She had 2 other sons; 1 of whom died shortly after her. My ex-husband never had a Will so his belongings would have gone to my son. My son is currently incarcerated and I have his power of attorney. He wants his part of the inheritance.

Asked on March 10, 2011 under Estate Planning, Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your losses.  Please double check this information with an attorney in your area  - which I would suggest getting to write you a letter on behalf of your son or may be just on behalf of your son; you can use the power of attorney to execute documents but it may be best to come as his representative rather than yours - but I believe that in Virginia your son is entitled to inherit his Father's portion."per stirpes."   His Father was entitled to his "per capita" share of his Mother's estate and because he predeceased her his share went to his children.  "per stirpes" was always explained as "through the roots" meaning it passes downward to the children of the beneficiary that passed away.  Good luck.


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