Do In-Laws Have No Rights After the Death of My Husband?

Written by jonathon swift
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Do In-Laws Have No Rights After the Death of My Husband?
The will is the cornerstone on which the estate rests in the event of a husband's death. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Little is more devastating than the unexpected death of a spouse. The last thing you want to worry about when your husband dies is whether or not his parents have any rights to his estate. There are a few things you should know about how your husband's estate passes when he dies.

With a Will

If the husband left a will in which he left something to his parents, your in-laws have absolute rights over that part of the estate. No matter what the will indicates will be theirs, it immediately passes to them. You may contest the section of the will, but this requires a lengthy court process that is often costly and stressful. Ultimately, if the will is legitimate, the section on items left to your in-laws will be irrefutable. In this case, your in-laws have rights.

With a Will -- In-laws Deceased

If your husband drafted a will before the death of his parents and never amended the will after the parents died, every asset left to the parents immediately gets passed to you unless otherwise indicated. However, even if only one of the in-laws is alive and was left something, the entirety of that part of the estate passes to the in-law. In this case, the in-law has rights.

Without a Will

If your husband did not leave a will at all and dies before one is drafted, all assets of the estate immediately pass to you. No matter what the in-laws try in legal action, they have no rights to any part of the estate if no will was drafted. Even if a will was drafted but never finished and signed, all assets of the estate pass to you.

Child Custody

If there are children involved and your husband dies, sole custody of the children is immediately passed to you unless otherwise stated in a will. Wills can have subsections that dictate where custody will be given, but sole custody cannot be given by the husband alone. If anything, the in-laws will only have partial, limited custody rights. If the children are not yours but are your husband's and he dies, sole custody can be dictated by the will of the husband. However, if there is no will, sole custody again lies with you.

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