March 2, 2017

Guest Blogger of the Month of March-Attorney Paul Ruszczyk

Guest Blogger of the Month of March-Attorney Paul Ruszczyk

        A client recently asked Paul the following question:

My husband and I own a house together. That is our biggest asset. This is a second marriage and I would like my children from my first marriage to inherit something from me. What can I do?

Here is Paul’s response:

This is a good question and could be addressed by either a written agreement between husband and wife prior to marriage (a “prenuptual agreement) or such an agreement after marriage (a “postnuptual agreement”). Any such agreement should be drafted by an experienced family lawyer.

That said, it is valuable to understand the way most married couples own real estate.

Most couples own their house in such a way so that when one dies, the other takes full title to the house immediately and the children get nothing. In that case they are said to own the house as “Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship.”

Another way to own property with a spouse is to own it as “Tenants in Common.” In that instance if one spouse dies, his or her share of the house becomes part of that spouse’s estate and if that spouse names his/her children in his/her will, the children will be entitled to a portion of the home ownership.

It is relatively easy to convert ownership from one type of ownership to another. However it is important to consult with an attorney to understand all of the legal and tax implications of such a change.

My thanks to Paul, a fellow Cornell Law School alum,  for contributing to my blog.  

Paul  maintains a general practice of law in Cheshire  and is also a Connecticut State Magistrate. If you would like to receive his email newsletter, please contact Paul at or  call 203-699-9984.



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