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Does my husbands daughter from a previous marriage still get his estates if he dies?

South Saint Paul, MN |

My husband got a divorce before he met me but now we are married and in his divorce decree it says that if he dies she( his daughter) gets his estate. I am now skeptical of buying a house with him or anything big for that matter.

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

Although I'd have to read the divorce decree at issue, I doubt the judge issued an order specifically saying that your husband's entire estate HAD to go to the daughter. It may have been required that he somehow secure his support obligation or something similar. Under standard intestacy law (i.e., he has no will), you'd be entitled to the majority of the estate, and his daughter would be entitled to the remainder. That can be altered with a will. I'd suggest that you bring the decree to an attorney for review and to discuss the other options. Joint ownership of an asset may also be a possibility.

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His daughter is entitled to take a portion of his estate when he passes on unless there is a will that specifically cuts her out (and that can be subject to challenge as well.) What you can do to protect your interests is to set things up where, if you buy a house, you have it as a joint tenancy with right of survivorship, meaning upon his death, the property goes to you free and clear of any claim that she may have. It does not pass down to her. You may want to consult an estate planning attorney in your area who can help address your concerns regarding the kids taking.

You may also want to see if you can discuss this issue with your husband. It seems that you have some issues that you may need to resolve between the two of you.

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The exact wording is important in this case. Through estate planning, many people die without leaving an "estate" for probate purposes. It would make sense to take the language to a law office that handles family law and estate planning. There may be some planning that can be done to avoid problems.


I strongly suggest having an attorney carefully review the language of the decree. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I've never seen such a provision in the divorce decree unless it has something to do with allowing resources to be used while daughter is still a child.

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