If my husband and I live in a community property state, how can we buy a home together without leaving myself open to claims that may be filed by his children after his death?

My husband has children from a previous marriage and his ex remarried an attorney. My husband and I would like to buy a home together, however, I’m concerned that by combining my separate property with his into a community property home, I’m leaving myself open to claims filed by his children against our home. Is there any way for me to protect my interests? Would Joint Tenancy with the Right of Survivorship hold up?

Asked on March 25, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Please, please, please go and speak with an attorney that does estate planning.  First of all, children do not have an absolute right to inherit.  Only a spouse has that right.  And anything jointly owned with rights of survivorship - which is how married couples own things - passes one to the ther at the time of the death of one of the spouses.  But it does not mean the kids won't try and file something saying you unduly influenced Dad in some way.  But each situation is different so please go and see a planner and ask what the ramifications are to you to combine separate property - which becomes joint property - one you co mingle.  Good luck.


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