Must one spouse leave their surviving spouse 1/2 of their house?

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Must one spouse leave their surviving spouse 1/2 of their house?

My mom has her Will set up so that her 3 kids inherit 1/2 of her house and her husband (step-father to the 3 kids) gets the other 1/2 of the house. It was bought by our mom over 50 years ago. Our stepfather didn’t come along until about 20 years later. The house was totally paid off long before he arrived. My my mom claims the 50/50 split of the house is the best she can do under the law for the 3 kids. She claims, by law, she has to leave the husband/stepfather at least 50%. I would like to know if this is true or if she could change her Will so that the 3 kids get the whole house. This is in a non-community property state.

Asked on February 4, 2013 under Estate Planning, Missouri

Answers:

Victor Waid / Law Office of Victor Waid

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You should consult a probate attorney as to you state's law re transfer by your mother of the house upon her death by will or otherwise. The claim of your mother doesn't sound right, as that house would be her separate property in a community property state.


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