Do Children of Divorced Parents Have Rights to Inherit Real Estate?

By Teo Spengler

Divorced parents can stay close to their kids, even if the other spouse has custody, but it doesn't always happen. A divorced parent who moves away or starts a new family may lose contact with the children from his prior marriage, and may even cut them out of his will. Only a few states give minor children the right to inherit a parent's real estate.

Divorced parents can stay close to their kids, even if the other spouse has custody, but it doesn't always happen. A divorced parent who moves away or starts a new family may lose contact with the children from his prior marriage, and may even cut them out of his will. Only a few states give minor children the right to inherit a parent's real estate.

Inheritance Laws

Generally, an adult can leave his property to anyone he wishes, in a will. If a will is executed appropriately under state law and its terms are clear, probate courts must enforce it. Even minor children for whom the parent pays child support usually have no right to estate assets, if the parent does not provide for it in his will.

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Accidental Disinheritance

Many state laws protect children from accidental disinheritance. This comes into play when a parent makes a will that leaves property to the children he had when he wrote the will. If he has children after the will is executed and never revises it, the law presumes that the disinheritance of later-born children was accidental.

Homestead Exemption

Some states, like Florida, have laws that give minor children the right to inherit homestead property that belongs to a parent. Under the Florida constitution, if the parent writes a will leaving the homestead property to another person, the devise fails and intestate laws apply, giving the surviving spouse a life-estate and the minor children the remainder.

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An Heir's Rights to the Property of Divorced Parents

References

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Laws on Inheritances

Every state has its own set of unique laws that govern inheritance. These laws, known as "laws of intestate succession," provide guidelines as to the priority of heirs. In other words, these laws explain who is entitled to an inheritance -- and how much they're entitled to receive -- when a relative dies without a will or dies with an invalid will.

Can an Heir Be Deleted From a Property Inheritance?

When someone leaves a will, he can bequeath his property to anyone he chooses. With the exception of his spouse in some jurisdictions, he can also omit or disinherit anyone he likes. Heirs have far more rights when a loved one dies intestate, or without a will. In this case, a statutory code takes over, determining who inherits his property. Depending on how closely related an heir is to the deceased, it might be impossible to “delete” him.

The Rights in Texas of a Deceased Husband's Second Wife

When a person dies, his surviving spouse is typically the first person entitled to inherit from his estate. In Texas, the decedent's estate passes according to the provisions of his will or, if there is no will, the laws pertaining to intestate succession. If the decedent has married a second time, that surviving spouse has a claim to the estate's assets either by will or intestacy.

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