Asked in Real Estate Law for District of Columbia

Q: I am the spouse of a deceased heir of an estate that died after the decedent. Am I entitled to receive any inheritance?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
  • Potomac, MD
  • Licensed in District of Columbia

A: You need to speak with a lawyer to fill in the family tree and discuss any Will or trust that might exist. Just for the first questions:

Is there a Will, and is your or you late husbands name in it?

Did "the decedent" -- the first person to die -- we'll call him or her A -- have a spouse and or children? How and why was your spouse a qualified heir of that estate?

Has an Inventory or Account been filed in A's estate? Is the appointed PR trustworthy? Is the estate filed in DC? Is it a post-95 decease of A, and, if so, is the estate filed as abbreviated or standard? Is it supervised or unsupervised?

Is your spouse listed in the Petition for Probate of A's Estate as an heir? Is the address correct?

If the Inventory or Account have been filed, what is the share of A's estate to be distributed to your late spouse?

Did your spouse have a Will?

Has anyone filed his (or her) estate? Who is the PR? Can you trust them?

Generally, but not always, the heirs of a post-deceased heir take from the seated of A. But, there are also issues under the Survivorship Statute.

You need to run the real facts through an interview with a lawyer.

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