Can my father leave his half of his estate to his children?

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Can my father leave his half of his estate to his children?

My father is married to a woman other than my mother. They have a home and some land. I need to know if my father can leave his half of house and land to his children from a previous marriage?

Asked on September 16, 2011 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If they own a home as joint tenants with rights of survivorship and same with the land, then there is no chance the property will go to the children from his previous marriage since if he dies first, the land automatically and the home automatically will go to his current wife by operation of law. It does not go through probate, even if he wrote a will or trust. He would have to outlive her to not make that an issue. He can, however, choose to own the property as tenants in common (changing title) and then essentially a portion of those estate would then go to her and a portion to his children. He can also discuss it with a private estate planning attorney without his wife so that he can square away his property for you and your siblings' benefit.


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