Grants Pass, OR asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Elder Law for Oregon

Q: Would I inherit my husband's rental properties (purchased via 1031 exchange after we married) if he expires?

After a divorce 5 years ago, Richard updated his Will, leaving everything to his adult children. We married 3 years ago, and he hasn't updated his Will or added my name to the two duplex rental property titles (except as 1% owner at time of purchase of the building which he/we bought with $40K of 1031 money plus $13K of my money as part of the down payment for the mortgage. I later put $10K of my inheritance toward reducing the mortgage principle. Both of us are on the loan). He thinks that because we are married, he doesn't have to make any changes and that I will automatically own the properties when he passes.

Thank you!

1 Lawyer Answer
Michael P Vanderhoff
Michael P Vanderhoff
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Central Point, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: Both you and your husband should have updated your Wills after getting married. Real property doesn't automatically pass to another unless it is titled correctly to do so ("right of survivorship", "tenants by the entirety", Transfer on Death Deed, etc.). If you are left out of your spouses Will, you do have a right to a spouse's elective share, which would give you a percentage of the estate (see ORS 114.600–114.725). However, it is highly recommended you and your spouse avoid the elective share situation and simply update your Wills to reflect your current wishes.

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