Legal Question in Intellectual Property in California

I am the owner of the house we live for 25 yrs. The house is paid off and only my name is one the title. Ten yrs ago I got married and since that time my husband and are living at my house. Qeustion: Should my husband die before me

, can his children demand half of my house?

Asked on 12/04/15, 2:26 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

No; the only way he (or later, his children) would acquire any interest in a house held in your name alone would be if his funds, or community funds (which would include your salary while married) were used to pay house expenses such as mortgage principal. Such an interest, if any, would probably be rather small, not a half interest, and is called in legal lingo a "pro tanto" ownership interest. If the house was paid off before you married, the chance of your husband having any pro tanto interest is remote. I would, however, suggest that you, or the two of you if you get along well, should find a local attorney who can assist you with estate planning, and look into having a trust and a will set up. Preferably, the attorney would also know a bit of family law so he/she could discuss pro tanto interests in married couples' otherwise separately-owned real estate.

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Answered on 12/04/15, 5:24 pm

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