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RayAnswers, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 40970
Experience:  Texas lawyer for 30 years in Estate law
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My ex-husband died without a will while living in TN. He

Customer Question

My ex-husband died without a will while living in TN. He is survived by his mother and brother. 3 months prior to his death he wrote an email which he sent to his mother, brother and two aunts that stated:
"Also, I have told Anna and Alli in the future I want to be cremated when I die for my ashes to be spread in the Pacific Ocean by the XXX pier in XXX and for my money to go to them (they are still my children and I am still their dad/d-dawg)"
Anna and Alli are my children, and my ex-husband's step children. There is a 401K with $60K in it and no beneficiary. My daughters were raised by my ex-husband while we were married and even after our divorce they maintained a close and loving relationship with each other.
My question - is there any chance a judge would rule in favor of my daughters? They live in CA.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 2 years ago.
Hi and welcome to JA. I am Ray and will be the expert helping you today.
This would likely not be considered a valid will here in Tennessee.But the children are likely his legal heirs under the Tennessee Laws of Intestacy( means no will).If he was not married they get it all, if he remarried here they still have a share.
Here are those laws for reference.
If you die with: here’s what happens:
children but no spouse
children inherit everything
spouse but no descendants
spouse inherits everything
spouse and descendants
spouse and descendants equally share the intestate property, but the spouse’s share may not be less than 1/3
parents but no spouse or descendants
So here these assets should be theirs if he was not married at time of death.
You are going to need a Tennessee lawyer to make your application for probate here and be named the the personal representative.As mother of the children here you can be appointed the PR.Once appointed you would be able to transfer the assets to the children after any creditor claims are paid.
They appear to be the legal heirs and court would apply these laws of intestacy to name the children legal heirs.
Lawyer referral you need to put in the city in Tennessee where he deceased.
The kids would inherit his share likely under the laws of intestacy or the will.Either way they take the assets here.
I appreciate the chance to help you today.Please let me know if you have more follow up.