Since I own a house and my wife owns another both free and clear, if either die with no Will does the survivor inherit the other spouse’s house?

Asked on December 7, 2015 under Estate Planning, Florida


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It depends under the laws of "intestate succession" (that's the law that controls when there is no Will). Do you have any children? If not, then when one of you passes, the other will inherit everything. If there are children (either those you have together or otherwise), then if the person who dies is a parent, their children will inherit 1/2 of the estate and the surving spouse will inherit the other.
Since intestacy laws vary from state-to-state, so you should consult directly with a probate attorney in your area as to all of this.
Note: You may want to consider drafting a Will, since then you can be sure that your state will pass according to your respective wishes.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the two of you have either no children or only children with each other, then if one of you passes, the other inherits everything, including the house. If one of you has children with another person, then when he or she passes, the other one will inherit 1/2 of everything and the children from another person inherit 1/2 (in your state; every state has its own rules for "intestate succeession," or who gets what when there is no will). That would include the children getting an interest in a house.
If one or both of you do later create a will, the will controls or determines who gets what.

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