If I bought my house before I was married and put it in my Will that my daughter is to get my house, will it go to her or will it go to my husband after my death?

UPDATED: Mar 31, 2013

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If I bought my house before I was married and put it in my Will that my daughter is to get my house, will it go to her or will it go to my husband after my death?

The mortgage is in my name, as is everything else.

Asked on March 31, 2013 under Estate Planning, Michigan


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A spouse cannot disinherit the other spouse. In such a situation in which a deceased spouse does not leave the surviving spouse a part of their estate, the law provides legal protection through something known as the right of "spousal election". Pursuant to this right, in your state, a surviving spouse can elect to take 1/2 of the share that they would be entitled to if the decedent died without a Will.

However, this share is reduced by 1/2 of the value of all property received by the spouse from the decedent by all other means, except transfers occurring through a Will or by intestate succession. There are several types of transfers that will reduce this 1/2 share, including property received as a gift from the decedent that was subject to federal gift taxes and made within 2 years of death. Also included is property transferred at death through joint ownership, beneficiary of an insurance and the like.

This is just a brief breakdown of the law in your state, as suggested by my research. As always, it would be best for you to consult directly with an attorney in your area.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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