What is the inheritance law for married couples? 7 Answers as of December 03, 2011

A parent died in 2006. It was a wrongful death field in February of 2007. I got married in November of the same year. Is my spouse entitled to a portion of the settlement which came in February 2011?

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Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law
Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law | Martin Barnes
This answer to this question relies on the laws governing marital assets. The answer may be impacted by the status of the marriage. A more complete understanding of the facts would provide a basis for a more complete answer to your question.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 12/3/2011
Law Offices of Lorenzo L. Angelino | Lorenzo L. Angelino
No. If you want to keep this as separate property, place the funds in a separate and distinct account, and it will not be considered marital property (more of a Domestic Relations Law question). In the Estate Law area, if these funds are in your name and you have no children, and you were to pass away without a Will, the funds would go to your spouse.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 12/1/2011
Harville-Stein Law Offices, LLC
Harville-Stein Law Offices, LLC | Dean D. Stein
Wrongful death proceeds pass by a somewhat different route. They follow the "intestate succession" statutes in Alabama, outside on an estate. Therefore, only blood next-of-kin inherit a part of these proceeds, as determined by application of the law of intestacy as mentioned above.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 11/30/2011
Goldsmith & Guymon
Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
Your question really is not about inheritance law, it is about community property law. The settlement is your separate property. However, if you did not designate it as such it may now be commingled with community property and be community property. You should probably speak with an attorney about the status of the asset with the intention of showing the documents that trace where the money came and where it has gone.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 11/30/2011
Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
A spouse is not entitled to an award for the wrongful death of your parent. As long as you keep this money separate from your marital funds, there should be no question about it continuing to be a non-marital asset.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 11/30/2011
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