Business Succession, Estate Planning, Legacy, Real Estate, Trusts, Wealth, Wills

Can My Wife’s Lover Take All My Stuff When I’m Gone?

To clarify, my wife does not have a lover (to the extent I know!). This question came from a potential client asking me about whether her estate plan can be different from her husband’s.

The short answer: yes! You can have differing estate plans from one another.

The long(er) answer: you have every right to dispose of your share of the marriage’s property and your own property regardless what your spouse wants… with some caveats and asterisks.

In Texas, you generally have two types of property in a marriage: separate property and community property.

Texas assumes that if you got anything during a marriage (a house, car, stocks, cash, etc.). that it’s community property unless proven otherwise. Anything earned before marriage, through a gift or from an inheritance is usually separate property.

And, as a spouse, you are (generally) entitled to a half of all community property regardless of how much you worked or earned during the marriage. You’re also entitled to give that half away after you pass away to whomever you want (including people who are not your spouse!).

But there are some laws Texas made to make sure a deceased spouse does not ruin the surviving spouse’s life by giving everything away to someone not in the family (like an unknown lover!).

A surviving spouse is entitled, no matter what the deceased spouse says, to live in the family house after the first spouse passes away. The spouse is also entitled to use certain property until the estate settles no matter what.

Complicated? A little. Can you address these problems? Absolutely… with a solid estate plan.

It’s complicated, but families splitting up assets rarely is straightforward. Feel free to reach out to Legion Law to ensure that your wishes happen no matter what after you pass.

It wouldn’t be the Legion Law Letter without offering information on how to get in touch with your estate planning and probate attorney. Feel free to schedule a meeting at legionlawpllc.com/contact-us/ for any questions, concerns, or issues you need resolved.

Cheers,


Derek Christensen

Founder of Legion Law, PLLC

One thought on “Can My Wife’s Lover Take All My Stuff When I’m Gone?

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