Can my mom's husband give away his stocks?

Asked about 3 years ago - Houston, TX

My mom was married to this man for 27 years and he recently passed away. Unknowing to my mom her husband gave his daughter his stocks. Now these were bought during their marriage, does my mom have any rights to them?

I think he gave them to his daughter about 4 or 5 years ago but shouldn't that be considered community property? I know he can give "his" 1/2 to her but isn't my mom entitled to the other 1/2?

If she is entitled to her 1/2 then how do we go about getting that if we don't know how many shares he had?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. James Brian Thomas

    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . Texas is, in fact, a community property state. You're absolutely right that a married person can give their 1/2 of a community property asset to another person. They could even do so under the terms of a Will, which you don't mention whether or not one is present here. You're also correct that the remaining 1/2 of the community property asset belongs to your mother. If she did not agree to the gift of her property, she may very well have a claim for fraud on the community against the decedent's estate.

    The process to assert this claim will begin and end inside of a probate court. You should be aware that aside from the stocks, there may be several other rights held by your mother that are worth preserving and protecting. Your mom needs to sit down with a probate attorney immediately to begin outlining the facts.

    This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted to practice law in the State of Texas only, and make... more
  2. Nicholas Abaza

    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . Texas is a community property state. You can certainly go after these. I have done this in several cases.

  3. Israel Sands

    Contributor Level 10

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    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I don't think that Texas is a community property state. Unless there were unusual circumstances leading up to source for the money to buy the stocks, or a marital contract in place, I don't think there is anything your mom can do.

    This is off-the-cuff advice and does not establish a client-lawyer privilege. Nothing I say here can be used to... more

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