What to do if I my husband’s late spouse and he purchased the house together but after we got married he never change the deed to include my name?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2013

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What to do if I my husband’s late spouse and he purchased the house together but after we got married he never change the deed to include my name?

My husband adopted a child with the first wife. He excluded me from the Will even if we were getting along fine. Instead, he left all of his property to his son. I want to know whether my husband’s Will is valid? Also, can he divest me of our marital property or can I renounce the will and collect a portion of estate?

Asked on October 2, 2013 under Estate Planning, Maryland


Paula McGill / Paula J. McGill, Attorney at Law

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Was the will written before or after you were married? If it was written before you were married, it may be easy to invalidate.   Also, whether you are entitled to all or a part of the house will depend on the deed.  If your husband had a life estate in his former wife's share, you may or may not be entitled to all of the house.  However, you may be able to force a sale if you a partial owner of the house after probate. 

Remember, under Georgia law, an adopted child is treated no differently than a child by birth. So, even if you invalidate the will, you may still have to share with the child.  

Finally, yes, in Georgia, a spouse is entitled to elect a years' support.  A years' support, as defined by the Georgia Probate Court is as follows: 

The amount set apart shall be an amount sufficient to maintain the standard of living that 

the surviving spouse and each minor child had prior to the death of the testator or 

intestate, for a period of 12 months, taking into consideration the following: (1) the 

support available to the individual for whom the property or money is to be set apart, 

from sources other than year’s support, including but not limited to any separate estate 

and earning capacity of that individual; and (2) such other relevant criteria as the court 

deems equitable and proper, including the solvency of the estate.


To learn more about your rights you should obtain counsel from a local probate attorney.  You may want to go to the Georgia Probate website beforehand to learn more about your rights and the probate process, among others things. 


Nathan Wagner / Law Office of Nathan Wagner

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry to hear about your loss. The answer to your question will vary quite a bit from state to state. In most states, if your spouse leaves you nothing in their will, you can still claim a portion of the estate. This is usually called a spousal share or marital election. You should talk to a local probate attorney who can help you make this claim. 

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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