Is a step-son entitled to money from my home upon the death of his father?

I have owned my home for over 50 years. I purchased the home prior to marrying
my second husband. The deed is in my name and I own the home free and clear.

My second husband of 45 years recently passed away. I received a letter from
his son recently demanding payment for his share of the house. He believes he
is entitled to payment because his father and I lived in the house after we
were married.

I’m in my late 80’s/early 90’s not only dealing with the loss of my husband,
settling his affairs, and now I need to deal with this. I’ve tried to find an
attorney locally for an answer, but they seem to be wanting too much money for
a simple answer.

What is my rights in California regarding this type of thing?

Asked on May 21, 2017 under Estate Planning, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Your stepson has no right to any share of the house (or anything else of yours). "Stepson" is not a legal relationship giving the stepchild a right to anything of or from you; he only has a right to the assets of his father. But if the house was in your name only and was bought prior to marrying the stepson's father, the father never had any interest in, share of, or right to the home; it was solely yours, as an assset titled solely in your name predating marriage. Therefore the stepson has no legal claim to it.

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