Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

I inherited my parents home. I am married, home is in my name only. Is there a form to sign that says my husband has no interest if we were to divorce or I pass away first. I have 5 children that are not his. I would like the home to be divided between my children.

Asked on 3/08/19, 2:09 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Joshua Hopstone Ferguson Case Orr Paterson LLP

California is a community property state. This means all property acquired during the marriage is presumed to be community property, owned one-half by each spouse. An exception exists for property that is acquired by "gift, bequest, devise or descent." (Family Code section 770(b).) This means property inherited from your parents will remain your separate property, even if acquired during the marriage. It is not impossible that the property's separate property character can be complicated if community property funds are used to reduce the principal on a mortgage (if one exists) or to pay for substantial improvements. There are documents that could solidify its separate property character even in these circumstances, such as a transmutation agreement, a post-nuptial agreement, and/or a quitclaim deed. I would recommend you talk to a real estate attorney in your area for more specific advice about your particular situation. Best of luck and have a great weekend.

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Answered on 3/08/19, 2:31 pm
Timothy McCormick Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services

Wow that was a really long answer from the other lawyer. In simple terms:

1. The house is already only yours, unless you have spent money on it that was earned during the marriage.

2. Even if community funds were put into the property, he would only be entitled to a credit back of 50% of the funds in a divorce settlement. He does not acquire a claim of ownership.

3. If you want to eliminate any remote possibility of him having a claim, he should execute and you should record a quit claim deed. A title company should have a standard form and be able to help you with that for a reasonable fee.

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Answered on 3/08/19, 3:10 pm
Gerald Dorfman Dorfman Law Office

The other lawyers have done well in giving you an idea how separate property and community property work. What they left out is what happens if you die before your husband. If you die without a will or trust, you husband will get all the community property and one third the separate property, with the other two thirds going to your children. Since that is not what you want to happen, you need a will or trust.

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Answered on 3/08/19, 3:31 pm

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