Areas of Law / Wills and Probate

My wife’s sister has died without making a will. She leaves a husband and also two children from her first marriage. Does my wife have any claim on her sister’s estate?

No. If the house was in joint names it will probably automatically go to the husband. He will also take the personal chattels (such as household goods, cars, jewellery and so on) plus a fixed sum up to £250,000 and half of anything remaining. The children would get the other half. Your wife may have figured in the equation had there been no children or grandchildren and the sister had left a reasonably substantial sum.

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