Marc M. Stern Featured in MarketWatch's Moneyist Discussing Inherited Home Ownership

November 28, 2023Media Mention

Marc M. Stern, a partner in Private Client Services, was quoted in MarketWatch in response to the question: "My husband bought our house with an inheritance. I signed a quitclaim. He said I could live there after he dies, but changed his mind. What now?"


Although the home would belong to your husband if he acquired it solely with his separate property, there could be claims for reimbursement or an interest in the home if your funds or community funds were used to purchase or improve the home, says Marc M. Stern, a partner at Greenberg Glusker in Los Angeles.

He recommends you ask your husband to confirm that he set up a trust and that you will have the right to live in the home for the rest of your life. But you are still in a tricky position: Your husband can change his mind at any time during your marriage unless he is contractually obligated, through a written agreement you both sign, to make the gift to you, Stern says.

Another possible outcome that could be favorable to you: If your husband deposited his separate inherited funds into an account holding community property, "and the funds to purchase or improve the home were then taken from that account, the home might not be characterized as 100% husband's separate property," Stern adds.