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


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.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.