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lwpat, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 25387
Experience:  Actively practicing trial attorney
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My husband has a living will which leaves me half his house,

Customer Question

My husband has a living will which leaves me half his house, and half to his children. Am I better off tax wise to leave it this way or would it be better for my husband and I to have a joint trust if he would agree. Or another idea I am unaware of? What do you think? I would like to feel secure in case any of the children would decide to contest.

Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  lwpat replied 7 years ago.
If he has a valid will then there should be no problem. You can do a joint trust but I usually do not recommend that solely for the marital residence. CA is a communtiy property state so you automatically get half of anything acquired during the marriage.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
My husband did own the house outright when I married him. I am wondering if it would be most beneficial for me tax wise to leave me as trustee getting half the house or putting me as joint owner of the house. The grown children would still get their half. What is the best way to handle this so that I avoid paying taxes on my half. But still stay safe in insuring the kids cannot contest this.

Edited by louise210 on 11/1/2009 at 4:46 PM EST
Expert:  lwpat replied 7 years ago.
You can do either. Putting you on the house as a tenant in common would assure that you receive half of the house. However, then his will would have to be changed also. Either way you would not pay any inheritance taxes.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Please bear with me, in the unfortunate case of divorce, would half the house still be mine if I am a tenant in common. He is much older than I, and I would not take his house from him until and unless he died before me.

Edited by louise210 on 11/1/2009 at 5:33 PM EST
Expert:  lwpat replied 7 years ago.
If he places you on the deed, then you will own half of the house and can sell it, leave it to someone in your will or whatever. In the event of a divorce it will still be half yours.
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.

My husband has a revocable living trust,and maybe I should not be nervous, but one of his sons is very unhappy. He thinks I shoud get 1/6 being there are 5 children. I have heard the laws are changing on the no contest clauses which is currently in the will.

I have not recently come on the scene, we have been married over 3 years and together faithfully over 12 years. I know this son and maybe other children will join in the fight if it comes to that oneday. I dont know if my husband will agree to put me on as tenant in common because he wants total control. what is the best for me? As hard as it is should I work on my husband as gentky as I can? Or leave it alone.

Expert:  lwpat replied 7 years ago.
Here you have placed a significat amount of time into the realtionship and now hopefully will be caring for him in his later years. I cannot answer about whether he will put you on the deed or not. You can check the real estate listings online since it may already be in the name of the trust. If so then he will be unlikley to place your name on the deed. If not you can approach him in that it needs to be done to avoid probate.