How long do you have to be married before she is entitled to my estate? 22 Answers as of March 31, 2014

My father-in-law is dying as we speak from cancer and he got diagnosed with cancer on the 22 of February and got married on the 24 February is his new wife entitled to his estate?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
No. It is his. Does he have a will that mentions her? If not, then she gets any community property (probably nothing) and one-third of his separate property (half if he has only one child).
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/31/2014
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
She could be entitled to a portion under Nevada law.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 3/31/2014
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
As soon as the officiant says "I now pronounce you man and wife" (or whatever she/he says). A spouse has the right to inherit under Ohio law at the instant that the marriage occurs.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 3/28/2014
Edward L. Armstrong, P.C. | Edward L. Armstrong
She would be entitled to a portion of his estate, in other words, he cannot disinherit her. The amount is really up to him and if she doesn't like what he leaves her she may file an election to take against the will. She needs to seek legal consul as the amount could vary depending on the estate assets and how they are titled (e.g., joint, in trust, in husband's name alone).
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 3/28/2014
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
Has nothing to do with length of marriage. With no will, half of separate property (or one third if more than one child) would go to the wife and the balance to a child or children. Of course he can make a will and leave it however he chooses, regardless of marriage.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/28/2014
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    Yes, no or maybe so. It all depends on information not included in your summary. How are the assets titled? If the assets are in joint names between spouses or she is named as beneficiary, then she gets it all. If there is a Will or Trust that leaves assets to her, then she gets those assets. If there is a pre-nuptial agreement that says she gets nothing, then she gets nothing. If all of the assets are titled in your FIL's name and there is no Will or Trust, then she would be entitled to an "intestate" share of the assets, which is essentially the first $150k worth of assets, (plus any allowances or exemptions, plus reimbursement for payment of any estate expenses), plus 1/2 of the rest of the estate. The kids would get the other 1/2 of the estate. So there is no way to determine how much she would be entitled to at this point, without more information about the situation.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/28/2014
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    That is a complicated question. It depends. You should speak with an attorney in the State where he resides.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/28/2014
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    If he dies intestate she will get all of his estate via probate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2014
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Is father in law is competent; a post nuptial agreement could be developed limiting new spouse; however suggest you obtain the services of a probate attorney experienced in conservatorships to obtain control of the person and estate of the father in law, to foreclose any claim of the new wife.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2014
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    As long as he is legally married she is entitled to a wife's portion of his estate.. By memory.. in Michigan that is the first $60K or so plus 1/2 the balance.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/28/2014
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    The answer depends on whether your father has a Will or a Trust. If he has not end of life documents, the new wife could be entitled to a portion of his before marital estate. The exact portion depends on how many children he has. If you are concerned that the new wife is going to try and take everything, you should consult in person with a probate attorney in your area.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/27/2014
    Law Offices of R. Christine Brown | R. Christine Brown
    If your father in law places his ?new? wife on title to the assets as a joint owner, those assets belong to her when he passes away. Does your father in law have a Will? That would dictate how his estate should be distributed, although his wife could make an argument that she was a pretermitted spouse. A pretermitted spouse is a spouse who has been omitted from a will. This term is used to refer to a spouse who would likely stand to inherit under a will, but was not named in the will because she was not yet married to your father-in-law at the time his will was written. If court finds that he was a pretermitted spouse, she would receive the same share of the estate as if your father in law had died intestate (i.e. without a Will). She would get ?, if your father in law only has 1 child. If your father in law has more than 1 child, then his wife would receive 1/3 of his estate and the remaining 2/3s would be divided between his children, equally. If your father in law did not have a Will and only his name is on his assets, then his wife would get of his estate, if your father in law only has 1 child. If your father in law has more than 1 child, then his wife would receive 1/3 of his estate and the remaining 2/3s would be divided between his children, equally.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/27/2014
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    If it is a community property state like California, then she automatically is entitled to one half of the community property estate, which should be minimal as there would not be much increase in equity in any house. But if he did something to make his personal assets community assets, such as putting the house in both names, then that increases the amount of assets that are community property. As to the non-community assets, if he has a Will/Trust, they pass precisely as the Will states> If there is no Will, the wife and children of his body share the remaining assets; if there are no children, the wife gets everything. You state that it is "my estate". You are not entitled to inherit anything unless you are named a beneficiary. You need to speak with your father in law when he is not in pain and has a clear mind as to what he wants done with "his estate".
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/27/2014
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    You only have to complete the ceremony and sign the marriage certificate to be considered a spouse. If your father-in-law has a will, the terms of that document will determine who inherit which parts of his estate. If he doesn't have a will, the state's intestacy laws will control. Furthermore, the title on things like property deeds, insurance policies, and bank accounts may impact who gets those items. Many states allow a surviving spouse at least some portion of the estate but it may not be very much.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 3/27/2014
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Yes, she would be entitled to his estate. He could draft a will giving others a part of his estate if he wishes.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/27/2014
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    Without a will, maybe. It really depends on state law, whether there was a pre-nup, etc. Just because he is dying does not make him incompetent so he may want her to have his stuff. Somebody should talk with dad about what he wants to happen to his property. If he wants some or all of it to go to his children, then he needs to make a will that says that.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 3/27/2014
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    A minute. As long as she is married to your father-in-law, if he does not leave a will she will be entitled to the 1st $60,000 of his estate and 1/2 of the balance.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/27/2014
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    There are too many factors that go into your question, including how long your father lives, etc. That said, the wife, if there are no children will get 1/2 of all separate property. If there are 2 or more children, 1/3. The marriage definitely gives her rights, how many depends on several factors.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/27/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Yes, generally. I suspect there are additional facts.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/27/2014
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    As soon as your father marries his new wife she became entitled to the rights of a spouse the same as any other spouse. The length of a marriage is not relevant. These include, but are not limited to: the right to file a spousal claim for support against the estate; the right to renunciation of the Will and receipt of her statutory share; and, the right to her statutory share in the event your father does not have a Will. If your father and his new wife entered into a prenuptial agreement the terms of such an agreement could affect spousal rights.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/27/2014
    Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
    Not unless he leaves it to her in a will.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 3/27/2014
    The Krone Law Firm, LLC | Norman B. Krone
    Does he have a Will? If so, it is controlling. If not, then his wife is entitled to the statutory designation. There is no time limit on when she is entitled. If married, it is immediate.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/27/2014
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney