Can a married man whom who has joint ownership of a property, turn over his half to his brother/sister before a divorce?

The husband turned over his half of the property 2 years before the divorce. He then died 3 days after the divorce was granted. He also did the transfer of property after being diagnosed with cancer. The husband has 3 children in the marriage, all of age and left nothing for them. Aren’t the children entitled to some part of his estate? And what happens if he died without a divorce settlement?

Asked on May 28, 2012 under Family Law, Florida


Michael Gainer / Michael J. Gainer, Attorney At Law

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If there was an issue regarding the transfer or whether he hid assets, the property and any transfer issues should have been dealt with in the divorce proceedings.   In many states, parties can transfer their interest in property without the spouse's approval.  However, real estate often requires spouse approval; there may be statutes in your state requiring the spouse to sign off on any real property transfers.

In most states, if he died without a will, his kids would get any assets, including property, that were in his name at the time of death if he hadn't remarried.  If he had a will, then he may have given to someone else.

If he died before the divorce was final, you are the spouse and would have rights to the assets he had at death. 

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