Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.
If the man has no will, then his assets will be distributed according to the intestacy laws.
I take it the children are not the children from his current wife.
Is that correct?
The law states that with 2 children, the surviving spouse gets 1/3rd of the estate.
Excuse me ... that's 1/3rd of real estate.
The spouse would get the first $60,000 of any personal property (such as the patents), and if the personal property is worth more than $60,000, then she'll get 1/3rd.
The children will get what is left to split equally between themselves.
I'll point out that if the house is entirely the spouse's, then she'll get it all.
The laws that I referenced only apply to property in the estate, of course. Property that he did not own is not in his estate (such as the house in his wife's name).
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The situation with the house is this: The current wife put the money in to build the house, and my father put in his time and actually built it. They made a written recorded agreement in the courthouse when they got married that he would get half of the value of the house even though the house was put into his wife's name. In other words, he wanted his time to be worth the same as the money spent to build the house. How will the law apply this recorded document?