If I bought my house before I was married and put it in my Will that my daughter is to get my house, will it go to her or will it go to my husband after my death?

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If I bought my house before I was married and put it in my Will that my daughter is to get my house, will it go to her or will it go to my husband after my death?

The mortgage is in my name, as is everything else.

Asked on March 31, 2013 under Estate Planning, Michigan

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A spouse cannot disinherit the other spouse. In such a situation in which a deceased spouse does not leave the surviving spouse a part of their estate, the law provides legal protection through something known as the right of "spousal election". Pursuant to this right, in your state, a surviving spouse can elect to take 1/2 of the share that they would be entitled to if the decedent died without a Will.

However, this share is reduced by 1/2 of the value of all property received by the spouse from the decedent by all other means, except transfers occurring through a Will or by intestate succession. There are several types of transfers that will reduce this 1/2 share, including property received as a gift from the decedent that was subject to federal gift taxes and made within 2 years of death. Also included is property transferred at death through joint ownership, beneficiary of an insurance and the like.

This is just a brief breakdown of the law in your state, as suggested by my research. As always, it would be best for you to consult directly with an attorney in your area.


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