Does a marriage take precedence over a Will?

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Does a marriage take precedence over a Will?

My husband had a Will drawn before we met. If he should die, does it supersede my rights by virtue of our marriage? The house is in both of our names but we have separate bank accounts.

Asked on July 3, 2013 under Estate Planning, Connecticut

Answers:

Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unlike my home state of Arizona, Connecticut is not a community property state, so you do not have a right under the law to half of the property acquired during the marriage, only those things that are in your name.  So, if the house is in both your names and he dies, you will own half of it.  The other half will be owned by whoever he left it to.  For example, if he left everything he owned to his children from a previous marriage in equal shares, they will jointly own half of your house.  You would own your bank account, and they would inherit his bank account.  A will always trumps rules of intestacy, since those rules are only there for when there is no will.  If your husband no longer want his property divided according to the terms of his will, he should change it.


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