If my wife wants to make out a Will and stipulate that our house be left to her son upon her death, if she passes before I do will I lose the home?

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If my wife wants to make out a Will and stipulate that our house be left to her son upon her death, if she passes before I do will I lose the home?

The mortgage and deed are in both mine and my wife’s names.

Asked on November 6, 2012 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

Elena Eckert

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your wife can only dispose of her interest in the house and cannot legally devise your interest in the house to anyone without you consenting.  

If you live in a community property state, then, assuming the house was acquired during the marriage, your wife can only dispose of her 1/2 of the house, by will or otherwise.  Same is true if you hold the title as joint tenants with the right of survivorship (look for these exact words on the title document) - a surviving joint tenant will get the entire property.

If you live in a separate property state, or hold the title to the house as tenants in common, then your interest in the house may be different than 1/2,  however, regardless of what your interest is, your wife can only dispose of her part of the house, not the entire house.

 


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