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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 53664
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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My wife died without a will. The home is in her name. Her assets

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My wife died without a will. The home is in her name. Her assets are six Timeshares, $215.000 in mutual funds and moneymarket accts. She has one son
who lives away and we live in Virginia. What should I do.
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good morning. You will need to take her estate through probate. You'll need to file a petition with the court and ask to be appointed the administrator of her estate. Because she had no will, she is considered to have died intestate and thus her probate assets...her separate property along with her share of any marital assets...will be distributable (after the payment of debts) pursuant to the Virginia intestate succession laws. With regard to the house, whether or not it is her sole and separate property or would be considered marital property is whether she owned it prior to death or received it by gift or inheritance. If so, it's separate property; if not, it's marital property and owned 50/50.

It's important to remember that the following assets pass automatically outside probate and are not subject to the intestate succession rules: i) joint brokerage and bank accounts which vest automatically in the surviving owner upon the death of one owner; ii) real property held as joint tenants or tenants by the entirety, which also vest automatically in the surviving owner upon the death of one owner; and iii) assets with designated beneficiaries other than the estate such as life insurance and retirement accounts.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!
Richard and 5 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The bank accounts are not joint accounts but her son was named as benificiary many years before our marriage.

Thanks so much for your additional input. If the son is a designated beneficiary of the account, it would go to him.

And, thank you for the positive rating! I appreciate having had the opportunity to serve you! If I can be of assistance to you in the future, just look me up and I will be happy to help! For easy access, my bookmark is:

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