What Happens To House Without Trust or Will?

by Renee


If we do not have a living trust in place and a spouse dies, does the house automatically go to the spouse because of community property in CA?

Also with a life insurance policy which lists the beneficiary (spouse) on the documentation. Does this automatically go to the spouse without a will or living trust in place?


With the caveat that I can't give you legal advice -- if the house was acquired during the marriage, it should go to the surviving spouse.

Same thing with the life insurance -- as long as she was properly listed as the beneficiary. But, it's a good idea to check with the insurance company to be sure they agree. Now is the time to make any necessary changes.

Here's a good article about California community property and spousal survivorship law.

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