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If my parents buy me a house as inheritance and my wife's name goes on the title, is she eligible for half if we divorce?

Houston, TX |

I got married about 6 months ago and my parents decided to give me an early inheritance gift. They are paying for me to build a house. This was not presented as a wedding gift, but as my inheritance. My wife feels if her name is not on the title that there are trust issues.

Can my wife's name goes on the deed/title and would my inheritance at risk if a divorce happened down the road?

Together we would be paying for property taxes every year but the house itself would already be paid for. Does our marital funds going to taxes turn my inheritance into OUR property?

What would I need to look at doing to protect my inheritance?

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Attorney answers 1


In Texas property acquired during marriage by a gift is considered separate property. However, there is a presumption that all property acquired during marriage is community property and the burden is on you to show that the property in question is your separate property.

Having your wife's name on the title isn't enough to show that the gift was meant for the both of you. Another thing to keep in mind is that later down the road, you can draft up an agreement between the two of you confirming that the house was gifted to you alone and confirm it as your separate property.

Regarding the tax issues -- if the community estate uses community funds to pay down one spouse's separate property obligations, then it is likely that a claim for reimbursement arises. Just be aware of this issue too.

Hope this helps and good luck.

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