What rights do my son and I have regarding his late father's litigation settlement if he remarried without divorcing me?
Question Details: I married 29 years ago and had a son a year later. The man I married passed away this year. While we never divorced, he remarried. My son received a limited power of attorney for asbestos litigation from this second "wife", asking him to appoint her as his attorney-in-fact and to have any funds distributed to the wife of his father and it names her as the wife. What options do we have?
First, if he never divorced you, then the second "marriage" is not valid: you were legally still his wife, since you cannot marry person B while still married to person A. That means that you are entitled to a share of his estate, including his settlement, since under DE law (and the law of every state with which I am familiar) you cannot completely disinherit a spouse and they must get someting (typically, around 1/3rd of the estate, give or take).
Second, while you can disinherit a child if there is a will leaving nothing to the child, in the absence of a will (if there is no will), the child will get a share, too.
If the settlement and/or the other assets you believe your husband had (e.g. real estate; vehicles; money or investments) were more than a few thousand dollars (i.e. at least a few tens of thousands), contact a lawyer to help you: it appears you and possibly your son are entitled to a share of the estate, but getting it will be complex, since it will, among other things, show that the second "marriage" was invalid. You will need a lawyer's help.