Legal Question in Family Law in New Mexico

I am a stay-at-home mother for 10 years now with two children. My husband is very controlling of money to the point it can be considered abusive. I need to know about the following concern and if I have a legal right to the following money :

My husband's father died in 9/11/2008. He had a Will and Trust. My question is about some bank accounts that were not included in the Will or Trust that my father-in-law put my husband and his sister names on his account as well as his name so that if anything happened to him his children could get to the money fast. My husband and sister-in-law cashed out these accounts and started their own accounts in our state and left some accounts in my father-in-laws original bank with their names on accounts. My husband and sister were able to cash out accounts by 9/19/2008 and didn't have to wait to get money like with the Trust. Here is my concern: if my husband's name was on these accounts as a co-owner does that mean that the money that he took out of father's account is considered "our marital money" because he was a co-owner and not a "Pay on Death" inheritor. I know legally that I am not able to get 50% of his inheritance that came from his father but if he was a co-owner of the accounts and the money became his and his sisters after father's death than is it considered inheritance or income that is legally marital money?

Asked on 9/10/09, 2:22 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

George Chandler Chandler Law of Los Alamos

The statute defines separate property as, among other things, property acquired by "gift, bequest, devise or descent." You description suggests that the money in the account would be likely considered his separate property because it was either a gift or acquired by descent. Descent means acquired from a previous generation including but not limited to acquisition by a bequest or devise [these both mean by will].

I hope you're doing something about the abuse.

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Answered on 9/15/09, 3:04 pm

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