My mother purchased property before marriage. Her new husband signed a quit claim to the property, and his name is not on any title or deed. They were married for 13 years before her recent passing. She died without a will. Does her husband have any rights to the property?
This answer is best handled by a probate attorney. I am going to change the practice area to probate to help you find better answers.
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Was the deed to transfer any interest husband had to your mother? This is not uncommon when separate property is refinanced, sold, or bought in a 1031 exchange.
The purpose is to eliminate any rights the husband has in the property or, in the case of sale, to make sure any rights the husband has are transferred to the buyer.
If husband's money was used to maintain the property, he may have a claim for reimbursement.
When the person gives you money, the person has an attorney and the attorney has a client, but not until then. Inspired by words of Abraham Lincoln
H may acquire rights to previously conveyed property based on California Community Property law.
Clearly worded transmutation agreement among spouses may be used to terminate past, present, future community property rights to property.
Most likely the husband has an interest in the property. You have two problems here that concern 1) separate vs community property; and 2) the lack of a will.
First, although husband signed a quit claim deed (a statement that this is separate property), the question is the couple's financial contributions to the property over the next 13 years. If community property (i.e. earnings) were used to support it, then the husband could have a claim that the property became community property because if that support. Without a will, a surviving spouse receives 100% of the community property. He could also have a contribution claim as previously discussed.
The second issue is the lack of a will. Without a will, the husband is entitled to 50% of the separate property (if there is only one child) or one-third of the separate property (if there is more than one child). Thus the husband should receive at least a one-third interest in the property.
There are other potential issues as welll. You would be wise to see an attorney for more details.
If your mother died without a will, there is a big chance her husband has rights to the property. Even if it can be shown this property was your mom's separate property, the husband still gets a share of it in California through intestacy. If it is community property, the spouse gets all of it if there is no will or trust.
It all depends on what funds were used to pay, if any, mortgage payments on the property purchased before marriage. Under CA community property law, her new husband may have acquired a community property interest in the house if a mortgage payment was paid during the marriage. If no Will, the intestacy laws will kick into place. But, it could be negated if a Will or Trust was executed and the Will or Trust then gave specific language as to the house. Find a probate attorney who knows something about community property laws.
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