Are there inheritance differences for spouses and children?

| Jul 1, 2021 | Estate Planning

If you unexpectedly pass away before you have the chance to create an estate plan, there are protections in place to make sure that most of your assets are passed on to your remaining family members. Oregon has an inheritance law that ensures all assets are passed down to the remaining family members when a person dies without a will or estate plan.

While this can help provide for your family after your passing, estate laws are straightforward and don’t take any unique family dynamics into consideration. In the case of spouses and children, the court would mainly look at your children when determining who gets your inheritance.

What are spouses entitled to when it comes to inheritance?

What the spouse inherits depends entirely on the descendants. This doesn’t just include children but grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well.

If your spouse is the parent of your children, your spouse will inherit all of your property and assets. If your spouse is not parent to your children or is the only parent to some of your children, then the spouse will get half of the inheritance with the other half going to your remaining children.

What do descendants get in an inheritance?

When a person passes and they have children or grandchildren, all of their descendants are eligible for a share of the inheritance. If you don’t have a living spouse, your children would inherit everything and split it among themselves.

An inheritance can be split up between however many descendants there are. For example, if there are four children and they have four children between them, then the inheritance can be split between those eight descendants.

It’s important to note that stepchildren and foster children are not counted as descendants. As a result, they are not eligible to claim any of your inheritance unless you leave instructions in a will.

The ability to leave behind an inheritance is a gift for your family members. However, leaving behind assets without a thorough estate plan can lead to long legal battles among your living relatives and others who get left behind. To avoid this, reach out to an estate planning attorney today.