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What Happens When You Die Without A Will? Situation 1: Married With Children From Prior Relationship

Updated: Sep 28, 2022

Our series of posts presenting real-life situations about the consequences of dying without a will. Preparing your will is not expensive and is a great way to protect your family. Please take the time to have your will prepared.

Situation 1: Married With Children From Prior Relationship


John and Cindy are married, and John owns the house where they live in his sole name. He owned it before they were married and Cindy moved in. He has two adult children from a prior marriage and a younger child with Cindy. John certainly wanted Cindy to remain in the home in the event of his death and to continue to reside there with their young daughter.


Unfortunately, John passed away without a will. The state’s will for him, called the Law of Intestate Succession, says that Cindy is entitled to only 50% of his estate and his children divide the remainder equally. The house was John’s most valuable asset, and there were not enough other assets to satisfy the right of John’s children to receive 50% of his estate. Cindy now has to sell the house and give some of the proceeds to John’s children. She may not have enough left over to purchase a new home.


If you are married and have children either with your current spouse or former partner, under Pennsylvania law, your surviving spouse is not entitled to all of your assets. That will be quite a shock to your surviving spouse. It can create a financial crisis to add to the emotional crisis of your death.


This situation is something that can be easily avoided by preparing your will. DON'T WAIT. Get the process started today.



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