Do I have to share the sale of my home with my stepkids?

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Do I have to share the sale of my home with my stepkids?

My husband recently passed away without a Will and I’m looking to sell my home. I bought the house under my name and only while we were married. I was wondering if I have to share the sell of the home with my step kids. live in a community property state.

Asked on January 30, 2017 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Texas is a community property estate....however, it also has specific rules regarding transfer of ownership.  Most of the time, homes are purchased with "rights of survivorship."  This means that title automatically passess to the other owner, regardless of what the will says.  This is not exactly your case, but the same argument can be made--that by placing ownership in your name solo, your husband intended you to have the "right of survivorship" in the property.  This will not necessarily prevent the stepkids from filing a probate to challenge the determination... but it's the argument that you should make.  In the meantime, since the house in in your name, you do not need their permission to list or sale the house.


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