Does a surviving spouse’s rights override a quitclaim deed?

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Does a surviving spouse’s rights override a quitclaim deed?

I want to set up a trust so that, in the event of my death, the house my wife and I own will go to my 2 daughters from previous marriages. My wife has agreed to sign the quitclaim deed in order for this to happen (she has other assets to leave her family). Will her relinquishment of ownership hold up in the event of my death? Can she elect otherwise?

Asked on July 18, 2011 under Estate Planning, Kansas

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Please, please, please go and see someone in your area to discuss this mater in detail and to set up the estate and trust as you wish. If once you are dead she will not quit claim the deed to the trust then you are put of luck.  Is it that she is going to quit claim the property now to the trust - which is how you would find the trust - as you will as well?  And then you will create a trust with your daughters as the beneficiaries?  Yes, I could see problems in the matter if your estate does not have enough assets to which your wife would be entitled under the law.  Can she claim some other issue under the law that would help to set aside the transfer?  Duress? Sure.  Please get this done and explained to both of you before you do anything else.  Good luck.


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