Can my husband Will his half of community property to someone other than me, his spouse of 31 years?

UPDATED: Sep 1, 2012

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Can my husband Will his half of community property to someone other than me, his spouse of 31 years?

We are about to buy a ranch and he said he wanted to put it in the name of his daughter from his first marriage. I told him I wouldn’t go to closing if he did that. Then he wrote in his old will that he wanted any property not attached to our homestead and half of what’s in our bank accounts to go to that daughter. Can he do that? We have a child of our own and he also has a son from his first marriage. Neither of them were mentioned in his Will. We’ve owned a house near Houston for 17 years: this ranch would be valued at around 1/2 million if we actually go through with the purchase. Wouldn’t it still be community property?

Asked on September 1, 2012 under Estate Planning, Texas


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Community property is property acquired during marriage.  Community property also includes income during marriage.  Each spouse has a one half interest in the community property.

The ranch purchased during marriage is community property.

Since each spouse has a one half interest in the community property, your husband could by his Will dispose of his half of the community property.  You would still retain your one half of the community property which would be all the community property not disposed of by your husband's Will.  Your husband cannot dispose of more than half the community property by his Will because that would take your share of the community property.

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