If my spouse passes away, can their assets and properties be left to her/ his children from a first marriage?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Yes, but this would ordinarily require a will or trust. If a spouse dies without a will, the law generally provides that the surviving spouse will receive all of the probate property. Survivorship property (a house owned in joint tenancy, for example) will pass outside of probate, and will pass to the joint tenant which will often, but not always, be the surviving spouse. Other non-probate assets that have a pay on death or beneficiary designation (bank accounts, life insurance policies, certain pension benefits, for example) will also pass outside of probate to the designated beneficiary, depending on the type of account.