Hi, thank you for asking your question today. The other Experts and I are working on your answer. By the way, it would help us to know:
Did the will have any provisions for how the estate was to be divided up. I know you stated husband was left nothing.
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The will stated "all my earthly possessions be divided equally" and named her three children. She did not mention her husband in the will. Two life insurance policies were left to me (I distributed equally with my siblings) and her IRA was left specifically to her three children...we have already rolled those into beneficiary accounts.
I was just wondering about community property because my understanding is the car and furniture in question were purchased during marriage. He has possession of those. He also has some of her separate property-furniture. I have a litigation attorney working on this but I wanted another person's advice. He tried to claim a right to her bank account-was in her name only for the last 20 years. I am the executor and moved the account into an estate account. He also wants the IRA. If it gets that involved with division of assets, do his assets come into play too as community property? It would seem to me that it would never benefit the estate of a person if only their assets are considered as community property. I wanted to keep the division simple and only ask for a monetary amount equalling half of the community property. I have bank statements showing my mom helped purchase the car and the furniture.
The separate property is to be divided according the will. The community property is 1/2 your mother's and half your step father's. From a practical matter there is little that can be done to divide a table. There may need to be payment to the estate for the value of half of the assets e.g. the car and furniture as you stated. You do not need to prove your mother helped pay. If it was purchased during marriage with community funds (money earned while married) then the asset is community property.
All marital assets must be considered as part of division of property. The only exceptions are 1) the home. As a homestead the surviving spouse may continue to live in the home until he dies, or moves from the residence. At that point the asset must be handled as any other community property and 2) property that is held jointly with a right of survivorship explicitly documented as having a right of survivorship.With a right of survivorship upon death of a joint owner the property becomes the separate property of the other joint owner.
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