‘My mom says she was already after him at my grandmother’s funeral’: My grandfather married a 2nd time before dying. Do I have any right to an inheritance?

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Dear Quentin,

My paternal grandmother died when I was 5 years old.

Her husband, my grandfather, remarried a woman a couple of years later. (My mother says I was already behind him at my grandmother’s funeral.) He was a rich man and helped me get into college. He died in July.

I received nothing more. I think the money he and his current wife have, or would have, will go to their children and to this side of their family. I worry about my sister and I won’t see anything. Do you have any suggestions for me? Thanks in advance.

Grandson left out in the cold

Dear grandson,

If your grandfather died without a will, his estate will be divided between his wife and children. How this is played depends on where they live. If one parent dies without a will in California, for example, one spouse inherits 100% of the marital property and one-third of the separated property, while the children, your mother, and their siblings, in this case, would inherit the other. two-thirds.

In situations where there is only one child, the spouse inherits 50% of the separate property and the only child — your mother, if it is your grandfather’s only child — inherits the other 50%. And the division of property, of course, applies to marital property. All the property that has been mixed and, therefore, has become matrimonial / community property, belongs to his wife, his stepmother.

Assuming there was a will, he probably made sure his wife was taken care of. And this is where the complicated minefield plays a role. Given that your mother considers her stepmother to be a gold digger, I guess relationships are frozen or, at best, civil. People tend to know when they have been considered an intruder, rightly or wrongly. And these kinds of moments offer an opportunity to respond in the same way.

People who feel estranged from their children, or who may not appreciate their attitude toward their second spouse, will sometimes donate their assets to their grandchildren. In some cases, they leave millions of dollars to their grandchildren, shunning everyone else and leaving behind a cauldron of resentment and remorse. If there are children with problems, a trust may be a more appropriate option.

And now what? If there are objects from your grandfather that you would like for sentimental value, you will not receive them if you do not ask for them. Your stepmother may or may not accommodate you. But your grandfather was generous enough to pay for your education and therefore gave you the means to open your way to life. As such, you are luckier than most.

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