If someone shares a house with their spouse and passes away, you would think that the surviving spouse gets the house. In many cases, this is exactly what happens, but if the surviving spouse is not on the deed to the house itself, that could complicate matters. Things could get more complicated if you have not made a plan for any of your assets. Your property will have to go through the probate process and there is no guarantee that your assets will go to your desired beneficiaries. This is why visiting a Woodland Hills, California estate planning attorney should be one of your top priorities.
What Happens to My Property if I Do Not Have a Will?
When you have no estate plan in place, the courts have to decide which assets go to which beneficiaries. Fortunately, your spouse is one of the first to get their chance to claim your property. Unfortunately, there are some other rules in place that could prevent them from claiming the house that you shared.
Which of my Other Relatives Can Claim My House and Property?
This is because there is a limit on how much a spouse can claim when there are children or other relatives involved. Your spouse would get the first look at your estate but then your children can also get a piece of what was left behind. There are a few different scenarios that can occur here. You could have:
- Just your spouse as a beneficiary. They get the entire estate.
- Your spouse and a child as beneficiaries. The estate gets split in half between the two of them
- Your spouse and two or more children are alive. Your spouse gets one-third of the estate and the rest is split.
So your spouse still gets a piece of your estate if there are other beneficiaries, but whether they get enough of the estate to keep your home can be hard to determine.
How Can I Make Sure That My Spouse Gets My House?
If you really want to make sure that your spouse gets your house when you pass away, there is no way around it. You have to make an estate plan or, at the very least, provide your spouse with a transfer on death deed. This document does just what it says it does. When you pass away, the deed goes to the beneficiary you have chosen automatically. There is no confusion and no need to fight over it in court.
Talk to an Estate Planning Lawyer Today
Avoid any confusion and unnecessary conflict by making sure that your estate plan is taken care of. Contact the Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman and set up a consultation. We can tell you more about what our attorneys can do for you and how we can help you ensure that all of your assets go to their intended beneficiaries when you pass on.