If he predecease me, would I be homeless? 2 Answers as of May 18, 2016

I am married to a man who owns a mobile home 10 months prior to our marriage. He does not want to put me in the trust deed. We are both in our 70's. What should I do? I contribute to the household every month. I write him a check for anywhere from $200-$600 a month. Already since we've been married 2010. I've contributed over $30,000.00. I'm just so afraid that I will be homeless if he should go before me.

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Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
Since he owned the mobile home before you were married, it is his separate property. If he has no Will, then Separate property or property purchased before marriage is subject to the California succession rules. Under California law, a surviving spouse has a right to all of the decedent's separate property if he has no surviving children, issue, parents, siblings or nieces and nephews. If the decedent has one child, the child and the surviving spouse share any separate assets. If his parents or siblings survive the decedent, California law awards the surviving spouse 50 percent of the separate property, while his parents or siblings receive the other half. One owner of the property can not evict the other owner and none of the owners have to pay rent for themselves. If he has a Will, then his separate property goes to those named in the Will. But this is then complicated if, as in your case, the surviving spouse may have contributed to the keeping of the separate property. So if the money you gave to him went to pay for the mortgage on the home or repairs to it or the rent paid, the separate property might be converted into community property to the extend of your contribution, or you might be entitled to get back from his separate property the amount of your contribution. But if the money you gave to him paid only for living expenses, such as food, cable TV, etc., then the trailer home remains separate property. Ask him why he does not want to put you on the deed; does he not want you taken care of when he dies? What is he afraid you might do if the home title is changed to community property with the right of survivorship [who ever survives the other gets full title]. If the transfer is made to a spouse, it does not result in a reappraisal of its value and an increase in the taxes. If he wants to keep the property in his name, then he could set up an irrevocable trust, with you as trustee, in which the property passes to you only upon his death, and put the house in that. The trust could be worded to end when you die.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/18/2016
Law Office of Jeffrey T. Reed | Jeffrey T. Reed
I'm afraid you probably would be homeless! And if the mobile home is in a park where you rent the space you need to be on the lease or rental agreement as well. For your protection I would insist that he put your name on both the title for the mobile home and the lease agreement.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/18/2016
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