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LegalGems
LegalGems, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7406
Experience:  Private Practice; Elder Law Attorney; Estate Planning; Attorney Mentor
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My father died suddenly of cancer. He has two daughters from

Customer Question

My father died suddenly of cancer. He has two daughters from his first marriage, he was remarried. We live in Wisconsin. There was no will. What are our rights? What if he did leave her as beneficary on his retirement accounts. Thank You
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

My sympathies for your loss; a few minutes please as I look into this.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

The retirement account- who are you referring to as possible beneficiary?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm not sure if he had one on his account. But if he did, I've never been notified so it could be his wife. My dad died December last year. There was no probate. She wanted no insurance checks that were made out to the estate. She wanted everything to come in her name. The wife. Is she trying to pull a fast one? My dad asked for a lawyer on his death bed, I assured him everything would be fine. I wish I would have did what he wanted. I know he had substantial iras just don't know if he had beneficiaries listed on them. Everything I resd Wisconsin is community propert state, with her getting half the estate and his children from previous marriage get the other half. But wondering if she was listed as beneficary if there's anything to pursue. Thanks
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for that clarification.

The intestate succession law is governed by statute 852.01

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/852/01/1

You are correct in that if there is a surviving spouse and children from a prior relationship, then the surviving spouse receives:

one-half of decedent's property other than the following property:

a. The decedent's interest in marital property.

b. The decedent's interest in property held equally and exclusively with the surviving spouse or surviving domestic partner as tenants in common.

The children would divide, equally, the decedent's one half of community property and 1/2 of their separate property.

As for an IRA in a community property state, while the decedent may still appoint a beneficiary of his/her choosing, the surviving spouse can make a claim on that portion which is deemed community property (ie earned during the marriage).

As for insurance proceeds, if the beneficiary was the estate, the company would have to issue the check to the estate; if there is a listed beneficiary, it passes outside of probate directly to the named beneficiary.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

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