Q: My mom passed away without a will. Her and my dad were married for 49 years. They lived in a house on land that she
inherited while they were married. He is not on the deed. There are 7 children. 4 from her previous marriage and 3 from her current marriage. My sister says the 4 from her previous marriage are entitled to 1/2 of the estate, but the 3 from her current marriage are not entitled to anything. What is the law in this case?
A: When somebody passes away without a will, their heirs are determined by what are called the laws of intestacy. Washington's can be found at RCW 11.04.015 (http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=11.04.015).
There will be a question about whether the home is separate or community property or some mix of both. Generally, an inheritance is separate property. But community funds were possibly used to pay the mortgage, taxes, upkeep, etc, which can complicate things.
I am not aware of any basis for distinction between the 4 children from the prior marriage and the 3 from the current marriage.
I would definitely suggest contacting a qualified probate attorney to discuss these issues.
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