If my wife and I die due to accident, who receives the estate and beneficiary? 21 Answers as of October 03, 2013

61 year old male, married, father of 3 grown children.

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

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
If both die without a will, in Nevada your estate would be split among your children.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 10/3/2013
Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
If there is a will (highly recommended) the will be distributed accordingly. If no will, the three children will divide the estate equally.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 10/3/2013
Law Office Of Victor Waid
Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
Assuming no will or trust, then the property/estate is divided equally between the three children.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/2/2013
James Law Group
James Law Group | Christine James
Much more information is needed but generally whomever dies first, their community estate will go to the surviving spouse and their separate property will be divided among the surviving spouse and grown children. You can always do an estate plan to spell out how you want things to go.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/2/2013
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
You don't say whether the 3 kids are hers or not. Presumably the kids, equally. It sounds as if you are a candidate for some estate planning (a will or a trust).
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/2/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    If both die and there is no will, the children would split the estate in equal shares and shares alike.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/2/2013
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    You should make a will and then the answer will be as you want. Beneficiary designations can almost always be primary and contingent, so that if your wife if primary beneficiary, your kids can be contingent if she has also passed. Estate planning is not that expensive, and it allows you to make sure that things happen as you want.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/2/2013
    Donald T. Scher & Associates, P.C.
    Donald T. Scher & Associates, P.C. | Donald Scher
    If you or your wife pass away, one at a time or simultaneously, with a valid Will, then the Will determines who are the heirs and beneficiaries of each estate. If you die without a Will, then state law determines who your heirs at law are, and who receives your estate.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 10/2/2013
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    It depends. Is your estate community or separate property? Does your wife have any children? Without additional information, it is impossible to answer your question.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/2/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    Without a will, you will each be deemed to have predeceased the other, so your estates will go to your heirs. Assuming there are no other children, they would probably be divided 3 ways with your children. Life insurance is a different matter. If you want some of your estate to go to charity or somebody else, you will need to make a will to provide for that.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 10/2/2013
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    If you and your wife die at approximately the same time and neither of you has a will, your state's intestacy laws will control who inherits your assets. Usually it's divided equally between surviving children. If none of them are still alive, your grand children would take, followed by great grandchildren, your parents, your siblings, and then their children.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 10/2/2013
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
    If both you and your wife pass your children are the heirs of your estate. A determination will be made as to which one of you passed first, the estate will then flow from the first spouse to the second spouse then to the heirs.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/2/2013
    The Law Office of David L. Leon
    The Law Office of David L. Leon | David L. Leon
    If you have a will, that would control who gets what. If there is no will, then Texas intestacy laws would apply. I would need to know more about your family makeup before I can make that determination.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/2/2013
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    More information is needed. How are all the assets titled? If everything is joint, and they cannot tell who lived longest, (there is a 120 hour rule in Michigan by default), then they would split the estate in half. Who would receive what then depends on whether you have a Will or Trust. If you do not, your share would pass to your children and your wife's share would pass to her heirs.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/2/2013
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    In Nevada, the children of whomever survives. So if you and your wife have the same children, the three of them. If not and you have 3 children and she has 1 it gets more complicated. Also in Nevada, if your children are going to administer the estate without a Will, one must be a Nevada resident. If they are named in the Will to be the personal representative then they need not be a resident. I suggest you and your wife speak with an estate planning attorney. A basic estate plan may be in order. The question you are not asking is if you are both in an accident but are alive who makes the decisions. You need powers of attorney, if you do not have them already. This information is only intended to give general information in response to an inquiry. It does not establish an attorney client relationship. This response is only based upon the limited facts presented and is merely intended to assist you in determining if you should contact an attorney to provide you with legal advice.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/2/2013
    Christine Sabio Socrates Attorney at Law | Christine Socrates
    If you and your wife died without a will, then your children, if they survive you, will inherit equally. If only you died and not your wife, then your wife and kids would inherit their statutory shares under the laws of descent and distribution. I recommend that you both execute a will so that you can decide who can represent your estate as the executor and you can also decide how your estate will be distributed.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 10/2/2013
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    Your estate will go pursuant to your Will if you have one. If you don't have a Will your estate will go pursuant to your state's law of intestacy. The same is true for your wife's estate. Life insurance and other items like that will pass pursuant to the beneficiary designation if you have one. If not, it goes to your estate.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/2/2013
    Gottlieb & Goren, P.C.
    Gottlieb & Goren, P.C. | Aaron W. Goren
    Without a will specifying otherwise, whoever survives gets it even if the survivor survives for only a second. Medical science can figure it out. After a stated dollar amount, the survivor shares with the decedent's children. A will could change this result by stating that a spouse has to survive by a stated number of days, not die from a common accident, or fulfill any other stated conditions.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/2/2013
    Davis Law SC | D. Nathan Davis
    Before I can answer this question, I must first make several assumptions. One assumption is that your wife dies before you in the wreck. The second assumption is that your wife had no children from a prior marriage or relationship. The third assumption is that there are sufficient assets to pay your creditors all sums owed. In this situation, your grown children would inherit the estate. What you should do, however, is have some wills and other estate planning documents prepared by a competent attorney and you will be able to address a lot of different scenarios so that your estate passes as you actually want it pass to your heirs. You probably have assets that will transfer because of document you signed. Examples could be retirement accounts, checking accounts or savings accounts. Only by reviewing the documents with a competent attorney, can you be assured that what you think will happen to your assets is what will happen to your assets.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 10/2/2013
    Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
    Whatever your wills say. If none, then your children will each get a third.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/2/2013
    The Krone Law Firm, LLC | Norman B. Krone
    Have a Will prepared on your behalf and state what you and your wife want to happen.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/2/2013
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney