Can I Be Classified As A Widow?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

On August 7, 2014, my husband and I filed a joint summary dissolution of marriage. He unexpectedly died on August 22, 2014. The judgment for divorce isn’t final until somewhere around mid February 2015. Does this make me a widow? Am I entitled to any social security benefits he has or any type of benefits? I am 41-years-old. He was 46-years-old. He only worked around 10 years that I know of.

The benefits you will be entitled to will depend largely on your state law. Typically, when a married individual passes away, the surviving spouse inherits a portion of the deceased’ estate (so long as there is no will that states otherwise). Since you were technically married at the time of death, you may be entitled to social security benefits in addition to property from his estate. You need to talk with a local attorney to find out your rights.