My sisters and I inherited property in Arkansas from our mother when we were all unmarried. Now, if we were to sell the property, do each of our husbands have to sign off on the deal?
4 Answers from Attorneys
Any sale of Arkansas property would be governed by Arkansas law, not the law of the state where the owners reside. You should re-ask this as a question of Arkansas law so attorneys licensed to practice there will field the question.
I do not entirely agree with Mr. Whipple. I do agree that you should check with an Arkansas attorney on this too, but California courts can and do exercise the power to apply community property principals to citizens of our state as pertains to property out of state. Although California has no jurisdiction over the property, its jurisdiction over you and your husband allow the CA courts to order you to do things, in case of divorce for example, according to California law in dealing with rights in the property. For that reason, any title officer in Arkansas who is worth their paycheck is going to require a quitclaim deed from your husband, or whatever equivalent indicia they use in Arkansas to establish that he claims no right or interest in the property, in order to close escrow and insure title to the property in the new owner(s).
Although you inherited the property as your separate, non-community property, if you used community property income to pay the taxes and other expenses of the property, that merging of community funds with the private property may give your husband some legal interest in it. The title insurance company will want him to either sign the transfer documents or disavow that he as any interest [since they do not bother to tell him that he might have an interest, I think his filing a quit claim is questionable as to its binding nature, but title companies in general do not know and/or apply much of the property laws].
I agree with Mr. Whipple. California has no jurisdiction over real property in Arkansas.