Pittsburg, CA asked in Divorce and Estate Planning for California

Q: In 1996 mom married a man in prison for life. They lost touch yrs ago. She now wishes to divorce him,as she has the

Onset of dementia. She wishes to protect her home, inherited from my grandparents. Who purchased it for her and I in 1972. In Ca can she legally exclude him from her will or trust? How would she go about this?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • San Mateo, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Your question crosses over into both family law and estate planning. Your mother's interest in that property would be her own separate property that she is typically allowed to pass to anyone she chooses. There are occasions, however, when the other spouse may gain a community property interest in the property. That can occur when community property funds pay all or part of the maintenance, taxes, etc. Your mother should ASAP talk to an estate planning attorney or elder law attorney who can evaluate these issues and who would likely refer her to a family law attorney to pursue a divorce. This could all get very messy if it is not handled by professionals who know what they're doing.

Steven J. Fromm agrees with this answer

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