Elk Grove, CA asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California

Q: My husband refinanced his house we live in (his separate prop) and claimed he was unmarried. Is that legal?

He has owned this home for 30 years..we have been married for 4. Our community funds have paid the payments since the date of our marriage. If something happens to him and the deed says "unmarried', what will happen to my interest? As an FYI, I am not asking what would happen if we divorce, I'm not there. I am most concerned with the dishonesty of claiming he is not married and what repercussions that could have on any interest I might have - including fraud on his part if the mortgage company finds out about it. He does not have a trust or will...that i know of. My concern is that because it says unmarried, I will not be able to claim any partial interest in the home that for four years has been paid and upkept with community funds.

1 Lawyer Answer
Julie King
Julie King
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Monterey, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If community funds pay costs associated with the home, if you get divorced, you would likely be entitled to half of the increase in value from the date of marriage to the date of separation. If he passes away, the home will go to whomever he leaves it to in his Trust or Will. Side note: If he owns a home in California, he needs a Trust, not a Will, to transfer the property to someone and not force loved ones to go through a 2 - 3 year long probate court process BEFORE the asset can be transferred to the person named in the Will.

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