Do all assets automatically go to spouse if a person dies without a will?

Question Details:

My mother and her husband bought a home in Ashroken, LI. She contributed $350,000. She died and left no will. Her husband is implying that all assets go to spouse, even though she requested that her share of the house be divided for her children. Is he correct? Does a request list dictated to daughter, with witnesses present constitute a will?

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