As a surviving wife, will I inherit my husband’s portion of his inheritance from his father’s Will once it’s probated?

UPDATED: Jul 8, 2019

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As a surviving wife, will I inherit my husband’s portion of his inheritance from his father’s Will once it’s probated?

He passed 9 years ago and made his wife POA. He said that the inheritance would be equally split between his 2 children, which includes my husband. My mother-in-law never probated the Will. Then my husband died 4 years ago; we had no children.

Asked on July 8, 2019 under Estate Planning, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Since your husband outlived his father, he would inherit his share; since you are his spouse, you will then inherit it (or share it with his children, if he had any), assuming that there is either no will (as a child of your father-in-law, he would inherit under "intestate succession," or the rules for who gets what when there is no will) or a will leaving him something. (Note: you can disinherit a child, so if there was a will leaving nothing to him, that would be legal.)
Even if he would have inherited, which seems likely, you cannot disinherit a spouse in FL; the wife will be entitled to around 30% (give or take) of your father-in-law's "estate," or that which he left behind which is inheritable. There are also things that may go directly to her outside of the estate and without probate, so your husband, and therefore you, will have no chance to inherit: a home jointly owned; vehicles jointly titled; joint bank or brokerage, etc. accounts. So depending on what he owned and he he owned it, there may be a lot you are potentially able to inherit or only a little.
A good idea would be to consult with a probate attorney: the attorney can help you understand, based on your best knowledge of what your father-in-law had owned/possessed, what you might be eligible for and your options--and the cost of those options--to push the matter along and force the estate to go through probate and also to challenge the wife's management of the estate if you believe she is not following a will or siphoning out or wasting money. You can then decide if this is a matter you want to pursue further.

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 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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