Father lived in another state.I don't think wife had a will.
Elder Law Attorney
Not sure exactly who is who in your question but, generally, if you are named in a persons Will and you survive that person then you are entitled to your inheritance. Someone may have to open an estate on your behalf to receive the funds and then distribute the funds to your heirs.
I think that answers your question.
Legal Disclaimer: Paul A. Smolinski is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois only, and as such, his answers to AVVO inquiries are based on his understanding of Illinois law only. His answers are for general information about perceived legal issues within this question only and no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to extend any right of confidentiality between you and Mr. Smolinski, to constitute legal advice, or create an attorney/client or other contractual relationship. An attorney/client relationship is formed only by specific agreement including an evaluation of the specific legal problem and review of all the facts and documents at issue. We try to insure the accuracy of this information, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy. The reader should never assume that this information applies to his or her specific situation or constitutes legal advice. Therefore, please consult competent counsel that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction and who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances.
It depends on the terms of the father's Will and the laws of the state where the father resided. Generally, however, for a person to take under a Will or the laws of intestacy (without a Will) that person must survive the decedent. It is unlikely, therefore, that you would inherit property from your wife's father through her, although you could inherit directly if named as a beneficiary. It is more probable, though not definite, that your wife's children would inherit through her. Bottom line – you need an attorney to review the Will and to obtain a few facts from you to answer this question.
I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference
Estate Planning Attorney
The father's will controls. It depends on what it says. If everyone named in the will is deceased, the laws of intestacy likely control. That would be family of the father, parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, etc. Unless you were named in the will, since you are not a direct relative, you will not inherit.
Estate Planning Attorney
As noted, it depends on her Fathers will. Most wills include a condition that would say "I give to Wife, if she survives me, [property]. If she fails to survive me, the gift to her shall lapse and the property will go to ....." You need to see the will to determine what is provided. If the will does not say, then you may have an intestacy.
The response to this question does NOT create an attorney client relationship and is an effort to provide a gratuitous general response without ability to determine accurate facts. An attorney client relationship can be implemented only be a formal engagement letter accepting representation. Do not rely on the response provided herein as advice to you.
If there are no other named beneficiaries in father's will, the laws of intestacy of the state where the father died will control. Without knowing more, including the father's state of residence, its too hard to tell or advise you.
The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or my firm or given me confidential information by posting on this public forum, and my answer on this public forum does not constitute attorney-client advice. IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: In order to comply with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.