If my husband’s grandmother left her house to my him, his mother and his brother, when he dies do I get his third of the house?

UPDATED: Jul 17, 2019

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If my husband’s grandmother left her house to my him, his mother and his brother, when he dies do I get his third of the house?

My husband and I are the only ones living in the house.

Asked on July 17, 2019 under Estate Planning, Alaska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It depends on, first, how the three of them own the home: if owned as tenants-in-common, then his one third interest is available to be inherited. But if they own it as joint tenants with right of survivorship, when one passes away, his/her interest goes to the other two owners.
Second, it depends on whether he has a will and, if so, does he leave you his interest in the home or not. While someone cannot 100% disinherit a spouse in your state (Alaska), they can leave the bulk of what they own to someone other than the spouse (e.g. a charity, a friend, other family, etc.), leaving the spouse to only get her "elective share." What exactly the elective share is is complicated and depends on the specific facts, but in most cases, it's only 30% of what the deceased spouse owned--so in this case, potentially 30% of his 1/3, assuming he could leae his 1/3 to you (i.e. it was not owned with the other as joint tenants with right of survivoraship).
Here is a link to a webpage by your Alaska courts answering some inheritance questions: http://www.courts.alaska.gov/shc/probate/probate-wills.htm#spouse-out 

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