California community property and inheritence

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California community property and inheritence

My mother and father are legally married in CA but hate each other. My mother makes all the money and my father is unemployed and has no income. My mother recently bought a house in her name only on the deed. She wants to know, if she makes a will to leave the house to her children only, and NOT her husband, what will happen if she dies first? Will my father her husband still get half the house due to community property laws?

Asked on March 13, 2018 under Family Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Community property is property acquired during marriage.  Each spouse has a one half interest in the community property.
Since the house was purchased during marriage, it is communitu property.  A spouse cannot will away any of the community property.  
Your mother and father each have a one half interest in the community property (the house).
If your mother predeceases your father, your father inherits the house because he inherits your mother's half of the community property.  Your father already has a half interest in the community property.
Your father will contest your mother's Will leaving the home to her children and he will prevail.
If the house had been purchased by your mother prior to marriage, it would be her separate property, and she could will it away or do whatever she wanted with it because a spouse (your father) has no claim to the other spouse's (your mother's) separate property.


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