Q: I bought 2.5 acres in 1991 for $27,500 and built a 1100 sqft building on it and moved in 1997.
In 1998 I married my wife and in 2000 started a 3100 sqft addition to the building. In 2010 my wife had a stroke and all work stop. In 2020 my wife died without a will, the property is still in my name only.
My wife had a daughter from a previous marriage she is asking for half of the houses value.
1 Will this be just the addition or the hole house all 4200 sqft?
2 Lots of 1.25 acres in the area are going for $90,000 will the property be part of that value?
A: This is a complicated question that also involves family law, probate law and is factually dependent. You'll likely need to reach out to an experienced probate attorney.
Here is the relevant law:
14-2103. Heirs other than surviving spouse; share in estate
Any part of the intestate estate not passing to the decedent's surviving spouse under section 14-2102 or the entire intestate estate if there is no surviving spouse passes in the following order to the following persons who survive the decedent:
1. To the decedent's descendants by representation.
2. If there is no surviving descendant, to the decedent's parents equally if both survive or to the surviving parent.
3. If there is no surviving descendant or parent, to the descendants of the decedent's parents or either of them by representation.
4. If there is no surviving descendant, parent or descendant of a parent, but the decedent is survived by one or more grandparents or descendants of grandparents, half of the estate passes to the decedent's paternal grandparents equally if both survive or to the surviving paternal grandparent or the descendants of the decedent's paternal grandparents or either of them if both are deceased with the descendants taking by representation. The other half passes to the decedent's maternal relatives in the same manner. If there is no surviving grandparent or descendant of a grandparent on either the paternal or the maternal side, the entire estate passes to the decedent's relatives on the other side in the same manner as the half.
A: 14-2102. Intestate share of surviving spouse
The following part of the intestate estate, as to both separate property and the one-half of community property that belongs to the decedent, passes to the surviving spouse:
1. If there is no surviving issue or if there are surviving issue all of whom are issue of the surviving spouse also, the entire intestate estate.
2. If there are surviving issue one or more of whom are not issue of the surviving spouse, one-half of the intestate separate property and no interest in the one-half of the community property that belonged to the decedent.
A: I am so sorry for your loss.
As you can see below, there is no simple answer to your question. The law is complex and the rules of Community Property even more so. The law seems clear, different facts and circumstances can change the result.
I would strongly advise you to contact an attorney in your area for a consultation.
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