California  |  Wills and Trusts

Legal Question

Asked on: 9/02/13, 4:56 pm

my dad has lived in CA USA since 1978, married to his (present)wife for many years & died this week. my step-mom has told me that she will give me a sum of money equivalent to the cash he put into the house they owned together. The house value is approx 2/3rds of original $600,000 buy price(give or take depending on todays US housing market) & she estimates dad put in approx $60,000 cash when they bought the property.my question is this: who decides the percentage of property ownership my dad had & therefore decides how much i am entitled to? can his wife pick the figure & that is accepted as fact or is the law the same there, as is here & being husband & wife, they each owned 50% of the property (house) value? I have zero knowledge of the contents of his will & living across the ocean in another country, i doubt if i will be informed. There will be no arguing over money between his wife & i as we are friends & she is now the only family i have. i understand people often behave badly when death & money are involved but that is NOT an option here. i have never made financial demands on my father & his death will not change that as having one person to call family is worth far more than any dollar value. this enquiry is to acquaint myself with a fact or two of california property law or the information required for me to research the answers for myself (please keep in mind i am middle-aged & NOT computer/i.net savvy).

thank you for your time & i await your answer, if you choose to do so.

k.j.maguire

brisbane

australia

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