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My wife passed and later her Mother passed. But her mother had a will In the will she left some property to My wife My Daughter and my 2 Step-sons Now I look It up and if I am right with my wife passing her share goes to Me Which if I am right is 1/12 now I ask my Daughter for that and was told No. What Do I Do Now
Asked on April 3, 2019 under Estate Planning, California
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 2 years ago | Contributor
No, a spouse does not inherit from the wife's family when the wife passes away before her parent. Rather, what happens is that your wife's share of the inheritance goes to her descendents--her biological or legally adopted children--in equal shares. So if your daughter was with your wife and your stepsons are also her children, then the three of them each inherit 1/3 of your wife's inheritance; you receive nothing. You would have only inherited if your wife died *after* her mother, since in that case, the inheritance would have already gone to your wife, so it would not longer be from the mother in essence, but would instead be your wife's funds or properties, and a spouse can inherit from his spouse. But here, since your wife predeceased (died before) her mother, the inheritance does not go to your wife and so does not go to you; it goes directly to her children.