Can a married man leaveall ofhis money and assets to his child?

Or is the wife entitled to that upon his death? There is a very large amount of money and assets. Married for 12+ years; no pre-nuptual agreement.

Asked on December 1, 2011 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you live in a community property state such as CA, each spouse has a one half interest in the community property.  Community property is property acquired during marriage.  Property includes assets, income, etc.  A spouse can not will away more than half the community property because upon death, the remaining half of the community property goes to the surviving spouse.

Separate property is property acquired before marriage or after the marriage ends.  Property includes assets, money, etc.  A spouse has no claim to the separate property of the other spouse.  A spouse can will away the separate property.

In your case, if you live in a community property state such as CA and if the money and assets were acquired during marriage, your husband cannot leave your half of the community property share to his child because it goes to you the surviving spouse.  If the money and assets are the separate property of your husband, you have no claim to the separate property and your husband can leave his separate property to his child.

 


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