Is it legal for my wife to will our joint property to her daughter?

UPDATED: Sep 11, 2011

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Is it legal for my wife to will our joint property to her daughter?

The property is in both of our names.

Asked on September 11, 2011 under Estate Planning, North Carolina


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you hold the property with rights of survivorship - which is generally how husbands and wives hold property jointly held - then she can not Will it to her daughter until you pass away and it goes to her upon your death.  Once that happens she can then leave it to any one she chooses, even if you and she had decided otherwise while you were alive.  I think that you may want to speak with an estate planner on the matter so that the property passes down as you had thought was agreed.  Ask about placing the property in a trust or allowng a life estate to the survivor with a remainderman. Good luck to you.

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