Q: Father who was married when he expired had no will. What rights does the children have when it comes to his assets?
His assets include a condo, vehicles, and personal items.
A: Here is the applicable law:
14-2102. Intestate share of surviving spouse
The following part of the intestate estate, as to both separate property and the one-half of community property that belongs to the decedent, passes to the surviving spouse:
1. If there is no surviving issue or if there are surviving issue all of whom are issue of the surviving spouse also, the entire intestate estate.
2. If there are surviving issue one or more of whom are not issue of the surviving spouse, one-half of the intestate separate property and no interest in the one-half of the community property that belonged to the decedent.
A: Under Arizona law, when a married person dies without a will and has children from a previous marriage, the children from the previous marriage are entitled to one-half of all property that belonged solely to the person who died and half of the deceased's half of the community property. What happens with the property will depend on how items were titled. If both of them were on the deed to the house and your stepmother had right to survivorship, she will own the house clear of probate. Financial accounts in both their names will also go to her and she will receive any life insurance for which she is the designated beneficiary.
In other words, you have some investigating to do before you will be able to determine which aspects of your father's estate are divisible and which your stepmother automatically received exclusive ownership of at the time of your father's death.
A: I am so sorry for your loss. Although the laws of intestacy say you have rights, the key is how the assets are titled on your father's death. If everything is titled jointly with his wife, the wife will get everything immediately upon his death. There would be nothing remaining to give to you and your siblings.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.