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My husband died suddenly without a will. We have 3 ...

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My husband died suddenly without a will. We have 3 sons. He has property that was in just his name . What do I need to do about this?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 9 years ago.
Thank youCustomerfor your question.

When someone dies without a will, the laws of intestate succession for the state in where he pass control who is to inherit the property.

When there are surviving children the surviving spouse shares with the children. As there are three sons, you would be entitled to no less than 1/3 of the property and the sons would share the remainder equally.

You can review the intestate laws for TN here.

A simple illustration of this can be reviewed below.

Intestate Succession

Anything owned just in your own name is XXXXX XXXXX “intestate succession.” That means if you are:

a. Married, no children. Everything goes to the surviving spouse.

b. Married, with children. Everything goes to the spouse and children in equal shares, but spouse receives not less than one third.

Example: Spouse and one child, each gets half; Spouse and 4 children, the spouse gets one third and all the children split the remaining two-thirds equally. (The children of any deceased child get their parent’s share in equal proportions.)

c. Divorced, with children. Everything goes to the children in equal shares, as above.

d. Unmarried, no children. To the parents, if either is living. If not, to your siblings. For any sibling who dies leaving children, his share goes to his children. If there is no one in any of those categories, then the trail goes up to your grandparents. If there are no living grandparents, then down to your aunts and uncles or to their children, if aunts and uncles are not living.

e. If you have none of the above, then everything goes to the State.

As he has died, someone needs to request appointment to become the personal representative of his estate. This will require going to the probate court in the county where he was a resident and asking for the probate forms to begin the administration of probate. It is best to have an attorney assist with the administration as the personal representative will be responsible for collecting all the assets, providing notice to the creditors, paying off the creditors, taxes before there is any distribution of the estate to the heirs. If an attorney is retained the attorney's fee is paid by the estate not from your pocket.


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