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  1. #1
    KayKay2008 is offline Junior Member
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    Heir dies - does wife inherit?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? CA

    there are several heirs to a trust. Executor just needs to file all proper paperwork, final tax returns, etc and then assets can be distributed to heirs. What if one of the heirs dies before money is distributed? Does that heir's wife get his share?
  2. #2
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    Q: Does that heir's wife get his share?

    A: Your question is devoid of details, facts, and information. But my GUESS is that yes, the spouse would inherit (general answer).
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  3. #3
    curb1 is offline Senior Member
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    Your question ("What if one of the heirs dies before money is distributed?) depends on how the Trust was written. Generally, a trust will/should clearly define your concerns. The estate of the heir (who died) will receive the assets when distributed if that heir was alive when the trustor died.
  4. #4
    KayKay2008 is offline Junior Member
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    SOrry, all I know is the trust was very simply written. Lists the assets and they are to be split 5 ways. All debts are paid. There's only two assets, a sizeable savings account and house.

    Nothing is being contested amongst the 5 heirs. Just wondering if something happens to one of the heirs while all this is being settled, house sold, etc, does the wife of that heir get his inheritance.

    I'm not asking for nefarious reasons (lol) just wondering what happens.
  5. #5
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    Without knowing what the trust says, all the answers you got are correct...as far as they go.
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  6. #6
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    If this is a living trust of mom which will be distributed once the assets are brought together, the rights to the distribution almost always attached at the moment of death. I suppose some could be written otherwise, but I've not seen it. Because of this, while the other posters are correct in that you'd have to see the trust to be sure, the now-deceased husband's estate deserves the property which will be distributed. That property, even in CA, will be considered husband's seperate property and will be distributed according to his will or thorough intestate succession. Wife may not get anything, or just half or something else other than the entire amount.

    This is assuming, "What if one of the heirs dies before money is distributed?" means the heir was alive at the time of the trustor's death (and it was a living trust) and the heir died before distribution.
  7. #7
    KayKay2008 is offline Junior Member
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    Correct. When person died, the heir was alive. Heir is still alive. Decedent's trust was very simple, did not make any comment about heir's spouses or anything, (in fact, trust was written before heirs had spouses) simply said that upon her death, all assets to be divided amongst the heirs equally. Just waiting for all the paperwork to be done and house sold then $$$ will be distributed to all heirs equally. So that heir is entitled as of this day to the inheritance. He's just waiting for the check.. Just wondering if the heir dies before the check is in his hand, does that $$$ transfer to his wife.
  8. #8
    anteater is offline Senior Member
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    .. Just wondering if the heir dies before the check is in his hand, does that $$$ transfer to his wife.
    Do you mean that you are still wondering? Even after Tranquility's answer?

    ...the now-deceased husband's estate deserves the property which will be distributed. That property, even in CA, will be considered husband's seperate property and will be distributed according to his will or thorough intestate succession. Wife may not get anything, or just half or something else other than the entire amount.
  9. #9
    KayKay2008 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by anteater View Post
    Do you mean that you are still wondering? Even after Tranquility's answer?
    Sorry, it's just not very clear, but I know its because I wasn't being very clear. Was trying to be vague for privacy reasons but I should just be clear.

    My husband is an heir to his mother's estate. He has 4 siblings. None of the 5 siblings like each other or their spouses. (Made thanksgiving really fun). Anyway, His mother's trust was real simple. It was one of those out of the box, nolo press type thingies. She didnt' really fill too much out. Basically her two assets a house and a savings account are in this trust. It was written before there were spouses, so she made no arrangements for spouses or grandchildren. She simply requested for her assets to be split in 5 equal ways.

    So none of the 5 heirs are contesting anything. THe executor is one of the heirs. He's just got to file her final tax return and some other minor paperwork. We're going to sell the house and then everything gets split 5 ways.

    What my husband is worried about...since his siblings don't like me, if he dies before the estate is settled, do I and/or our child automatically get his 20% or does he have to have a will drafted up that states his 20% goes to his wife?

    Ok..hopefully that's clear and hopefully the answer will be too.

    Thanks for your help so far, everyone.
  10. #10
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    On the death of the trustor, your husband has the right to his share of the trust even if it cannot be distributed yet.

    If your husband dies before the distribution, his estate gets the distribution.

    How your husband's estate is distributed depends on the facts. If he has a will, according to the will. If there is not a will, through intestate succession. The money is not community property so the wife has no rights to it outside of any amounts she inherits through the will or intestate succession.
  11. #11
    KayKay2008 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tranquility View Post
    On the death of the trustor, your husband has the right to his share of the trust even if it cannot be distributed yet.

    If your husband dies before the distribution, his estate gets the distribution.

    How your husband's estate is distributed depends on the facts. If he has a will, according to the will. If there is not a will, through intestate succession. The money is not community property so the wife has no rights to it outside of any amounts she inherits through the will or intestate succession.
    Thank you. Very clear and understood. Appreciate the help.
  12. #12
    anteater is offline Senior Member
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    .....or does he have to have a will drafted up that states his 20% goes to his wife?
    Just to add what may be obvious. It's a great idea for you and your husband to have wills in place in any event.

    (Although, I guess when Trustuser comes by, he'll insist that a trust is far superior.)
  13. #13
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    Of course, trusts are better for everything.
  14. #14
    truthandhonor is offline Member
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    " Of course, trusts are better for everything."

    Provided the trustees are trustworthy, right-minded and fair. Far better to have a neutral party who is not a benefiricary or a corporate trustee handle an estate where they may be the possibilty of underhandedness amongst siblings. Save yourself tens of thousands of dollars in attorneys fees and even hundreds of thousands when it comes to litigation.
  15. #15
    TrustUser is offline Senior Member
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    hey guys,

    i enjoy good-natured ribbing.

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