If assets have not been transferred out of a spouse’s name after a divorce, whose propertyis it?

My deceased ex-husband left bonds with my name on them. The executor sent them to me. On divorce papers, they were listed as his assets. Are they mine?

Asked on September 12, 2010 under Estate Planning, California


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, they are not legally yours they are legally assets of the estate.  I think that you knew the answer to that already.  The only way that I can see that they would be considered yours is if he acknowledges in his Will that they were his assets in the divorce but that he chose for them to remain in your name and that they are bequeathed to you upon his death.  Did the divorce agreement state that you were to sign them over to him upon completion of the divorce?  You do not want to be placed in the position of committing a theft in any form do you? Contact the executor and be straight with him.  It is in your best interest. 

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