What happens if my wife dies while we are legally separated?

02/02/2007 - Category:Divorce - Separation Agreements - State: PA #414

Full Question:

My husband and I have been legally separated for three years. What happens if he were to die? Am I still considered his wife or does his estate go to his daughter?

Answer:

In Pennsylvania, there is no such legal status as being "legally separated". You are either single or married. If your husband dies without a will, the following rules will apply:

1. If no children, grandchildren, (etc.) or parents of the deceased survive, then the surviving spouse receives the entire estate.
2. If there is a surviving child or children of the deceased and the surviving spouse, a surviving grandchild or grandchildren of the deceased and the surviving spouse; or a surviving parent or parents of the deceased; then the surviving spouse receives the first $30,000 of the estate plus one-half of the remaining estate balance.
3. If one or more surviving children or grandchildren are not children or grandchildren of the deceased and the surviving spouse, then the surviving spouse receives one-half of the entire estate.



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02/02/2007 - Category: Separation Agreements - State: PA #414

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