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Q: California law on inheritance ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: California law on inheritance
Category: Family and Home > Relationships
Asked by: grannyjannie-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 04 Jan 2006 10:35 PST
Expires: 03 Feb 2006 10:35 PST
Question ID: 429047
I have a daughter that has been physically separated from her husband
for a year, not divorced or legally separated.  If my husband and I
died in a car accident and our assets are divided equally between our
3 children could her "ex-husband" have a legal right to part of that
Subject: Re: California law on inheritance
Answered By: juggler-ga on 04 Jan 2006 10:45 PST

First of all, I should note that, as always, Google Answers provides
general information and is not a substitute for professional legal
advice. If you need professional legal advice, you should contact a
qualified attorney in your area.


The answer to your question is "no."

Property inherited by one spouse is NOT community property in
California. Inherited property is "separate property," so even if your
daughter and her husband were happily living together, he'd have no
legal right to your daughter's inheritance.

"Separate property" is defined in Section 770 of the Family Code. 
Inherited property is specifically mentioned in 770(a)(2) as property
acquired by "bequest, devise or descent."

"770.  (a) Separate property of a married person includes all of the
   (1) All property owned by the person before marriage.
   (2) All property acquired by the person after marriage by gift,
bequest, devise, or descent. 
   (3) The rents, issues, and profits of the property described in
this section.
   (b) A married person may, without the consent of the person's
spouse, convey the person's separate property."

The "bequest, devise, or descent" language covers all methods of
inheriting property under wills, trusts or intestacy (i.e., no will).

search strategy:
find california code: separate property bequest devise

I hope this helps.

Request for Answer Clarification by grannyjannie-ga on 01 Mar 2006 14:52 PST
Well I have one no and one yes.....Help!

Clarification of Answer by juggler-ga on 01 Mar 2006 17:49 PST
Well, there's an old saying, "Consider the source."

Your "no" is supported by Section 770 of the California Family Code,
as cited above.  Your "yes," on the other hand, is merely an unpaid
comment from a non-researcher who doesn't back up his claim with any
sort of source or authority.

Here's more information:

"Separate property includes the following:
(1) All property owned before marriage;
(2) All property obtained by gift or inheritance during the marriage;
(3) All rents and profits of separate property; and
(4) Earnings and accumulations after separation."
Subject: Re: California law on inheritance
From: jedd-ga on 09 Feb 2006 04:31 PST
I have been advised that the spouse would be entitled to proceeds or
profits of such seperate property assets.

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