If 20 years ago my brother and I inherited a house and its contents jointly from our mother but something were to now happen to him, would his share of the house go to his wife?

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If 20 years ago my brother and I inherited a house and its contents jointly from our mother but something were to now happen to him, would his share of the house go to his wife?

He was married 3 years ago and now has 1 child. I am single. How does his status affect his portion of the house?

Asked on August 25, 2015 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Since you and your brother inherited the house and its contents jointly, both of you are joint tenants with right of survivorship which means upon your brother's death, you inherit his share of the house and its contents.  His wife has no claim.
In addition to the joint tenancy with right of survivorship issue, your brother's wife would not have a claim for the following additional reason An inheritance is separate property whether it occurred before marriage or during marriage, and a spouse has no claim to the other spouse's separate property. 


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