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Marital Question: Is it his or ours?

 
 
Reply Wed 12 Jul, 2023 06:31 am
I was listening to my morning radio program this morning and a woman wrote in with this question. She said that she is married to a guy and his parents are still alive. Her father in law is like 85 and her mother in law is in her late 70s. A number of years ago her husband's dad stopped driving due to his health issues so he gave his Silverado truck to his daughter, the wife's sister in law. The husband has 6 other siblings, by the way. She already had her own car but dad had always promised to give his truck to her when he stopped driving. She got it and there were no complaints from the other siblings because they all knew she would get the truck. Some 20 years or so ago the mother in law bought a brand new model year Honda Accord. She is a Honda person. Earlier this year she totaled it in a wreck and it only had like 85K original miles on it. No, she hardly drove it. The husband helped her work with her insurance company on the settlement and replacement. She wasn't in the market for another brand new car but my husband did all the correspondence with her insurance company and when the settlement finally came through they went and he helped her get a newer model (used) Honda Accord. A really nicer car with all the amenities.

Ok, here's her rub the reason she wrote into the radio station. Of the 7 total siblings 2 of the siblings are married and they already have multiple cars within their household. Two of the brothers don't drive, one never got a license and one brother currently has a suspended / revoked license. Again, neither of them have cars. The one sister who isn't married got the dad's truck so she has 2 vehicles now. And one last brother has his own truck but he tends to be very selfish towards everyone. That leaves the husband. The mother in law tends to call the one son to do a lot of things for her and his dad. He handled the insurance settlement for the wrecked car and he did a search and helped her purchase the replacement car. If she needs to run to the store and doesn't feel like driving she'll call the husband. If something needs to be fix at the house she'll call the one son. This weekend the wife and husband went out of town and she said that the husband, said in jest, he was going to throw his hat into the ring so that when mom stops driving or passes away he wanted her car. Granted the son and the wife also have their own cars too so this will be a 3rd car for them. A few days ago the son was at the parent's house doing some caulking work and when he came home he told the wife, the letter writer, that he had a discussion with his mom and he asked for her car when the time comes. Mom agreed and said it would go in the will, so to speak, that the car will be his. When he got home and told the wife she made the comment "I can't wait to drive the car." His reply to her was "that's my car not yours." Again, she has her car, he has his, and now the mother in law is planning on giving her son her car once she's done with it. The wife feels that the car will be "ours" given they're married but the husband feels that since the car will be given to him it's "his" car not their car.

Is this covered under marital rules that if something is given to him then it automatically becomes theirs? Husband feels that since his mom was so meticulous with the prior Honda, again some 20 years old and it had less than 86k miles on it, he isn't going to let just anyone drive the replacement car and wear it down. He is saying something like he doesn't want his siblings coming down on him for letting someone tear up their mom's car. The sister who got the truck lets no one else drive it either. The wife feels that she has every right to drive the car once it's in her husband's possession since they are married. She has a feeling that her husband isn't going to let her drive the car.

Your thoughts. Is she right that it is marital property and she has the right to drive it or given that she has her own car the husband feels that she can't just ask for the keys because she wants to drive something different or she just wants to take it to the store. Think about this. If the husband or the wife stops at a convenience store and buys a lottery ticket and wins that is "their" money based on laws but do these laws also cover things given to a spouse as a result of a will? Wife has a feeling that the husband won't even give her a spare key to the car.

Is it his car or their car?
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Type: Question • Score: 5 • Views: 479 • Replies: 12
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neptuneblue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jul, 2023 08:45 am
@StarbucksFreak,
His car.

Inheritance has separate rules than shared marital assets.
StarbucksFreak
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jul, 2023 09:18 am
@neptuneblue,
That's what I was thinking given that the car will be given to him. It's not like the mom gifted them a million dollars. If her name is not specifically listed or mentioned in the will then that car is in no ways hers to just drive when she wants to. A lot of the people who were calling / writing in to comment were saying how he was wrong and being selfish towards his wife.

I was thinking that if her parents willed her something, i.e. their house, car, or even a sum of money, that that would be hers to use and/or share. Just because he now has possession of the car doesn't mean she has carte blanch to drive it when she wants to. And if he never gives her a key then she'll just have to live with that.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jul, 2023 11:17 am
@StarbucksFreak,
My wife and I have two cars, but I drive my car and she drives hers. On paper they belong to both of us, but in reality, we each have our own cars. While the wife might get to drive the car occasionally, I think regardless of the legal part, this is going to be his car. If she wants to drive it now, she could help MIL run errands.
0 Replies
 
RPhalange
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jul, 2023 11:36 am
@StarbucksFreak,
Quote:
Is this covered under marital rules that if something is given to him then it automatically becomes theirs?


If you are in the US then it depends on which state you live in. In many states yes this is the case so you need to look at the law where you live.

Like in CA, it is community property laws once married; this means once you are married any property or assets you acquire during your marriage (whether it is a gift to one spouse or another) is owned equally between the two.

I'd suggest that the mom keep the car in her name and let her son drive it/pay for insurance. That way it is still the mom's car so she can say no you can't drive it or own it in any way.

But potentially once she passes if she wills it to him, this wife, depending on your laws, may technically own 50% of it. But the laws can be different between inherited property and non-inherited property meaning some states with this community property law may look at inherited property similar to assets owned prior to getting married.

It can be very complicated. I went through some of this stuff several years ago, I wasn't married but one of my siblings was.
StarbucksFreak
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jul, 2023 02:45 pm
@RPhalange,
RPhalange wrote:

Quote:
Is this covered under marital rules that if something is given to him then it automatically becomes theirs?


If you are in the US then it depends on which state you live in. In many states yes this is the case so you need to look at the law where you live.

Like in CA, it is community property laws once married; this means once you are married any property or assets you acquire during your marriage (whether it is a gift to one spouse or another) is owned equally between the two.

I'd suggest that the mom keep the car in her name and let her son drive it/pay for insurance. That way it is still the mom's car so she can say no you can't drive it or own it in any way.

But potentially once she passes if she wills it to him, this wife, depending on your laws, may technically own 50% of it. But the laws can be different between inherited property and non-inherited property meaning some states with this community property law may look at inherited property similar to assets owned prior to getting married.

It can be very complicated. I went through some of this stuff several years ago, I wasn't married but one of my siblings was.


Is this really a situation of "community property"? When I hear community property I think the husband comes in with certain assets and the wife comes in with certain assets and over time they mix, mingle, and co-mingle their assets thus making it community property. In this case, the husband's mother is giving her car to the son who has helped her along the way outside of the other siblings. Mind you, the daughter in law doesn't sound like she's helped any either. Upon the mom's death or her inability to drive anymore he will be given the car. I can't see that as community property. Say the mom owned a business and she willed it to the son, does the wife now have stake or claim to it?

I think the problem between these two will come down to when she asks to drive the car somewhere and he tells her no. Just like one person responded, he has a car and his wife has a car. On paper they are both owned by both but he doesn't drive her car and she doesn't drive his. Can you imagine: "Hey babe, let me have the keys to the Honda, I wanna run to the store." If his reply is anything other than "here they are" then she's gonna be pissed. "That's our car!" "No, that's my car. My mom gave it to me, not us."
glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jul, 2023 03:28 pm
@StarbucksFreak,
It will be his car. In Maryland inheritance is not shared, it belongs to the person specified in the will.
RPhalange
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jul, 2023 04:58 pm
@StarbucksFreak,
It is community property if it is obtained while they are married. That is the simple answer. So anything you owned prior to getting married is excluded and anything you got after you got married is both of yours. Since they are married now, if he were to given this car then it is both of theirs since it was obtained during their marriage.

That is over simplified as sometimes things like stuff being inherited may be not considered as shared. It is really weird and so much depends on your state and I am far from an expert on legal matters. I just know it was a discussion with my brother and his wife when we were inherited some assets. I kind of ignored it as it did not directly impact me. But at the very least you can look to see if your state is one that has community property or not.
RPhalange
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jul, 2023 05:00 pm
@glitterbag,
so he is from Maryland? Like I said you need to check your state laws in regard to this.
0 Replies
 
neptuneblue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jul, 2023 05:07 pm
@RPhalange,
Federal law dictates that no inheritance is legally required to be shared with a spouse.
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jul, 2023 09:11 pm
@neptuneblue,
What Federal law might that be? Inheritance laws are state laws.
0 Replies
 
cherrie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Jul, 2023 12:32 am
@StarbucksFreak,
Barry for someone who claims to be a Christian and spends so much time at church you would have to be one of the most mean-spirited people I've ever come across.

Your obsession with money and possessions is extremely un-christian.

Your mother has left you this car in her will, you aren't even going to get it until she dies and you're already bitching and moaning because your wife said she wants to drive it. Who cares if she does, you can't drive two cars at once, why can't she drive it occasionally?

You're just a pathetic little man and as usual it's all about you.
0 Replies
 
StarbucksFreak
 
  0  
Reply Thu 13 Jul, 2023 11:00 am
@glitterbag,
glitterbag wrote:

It will be his car. In Maryland inheritance is not shared, it belongs to the person specified in the will.


Never been married so I don't know how this works. But how do you relay that to a woman who feels that whatever is her husband's is now hers? I agree with this, if mom gives him her car than that's his car, not their car. She didn't give it to them, she gave it to him. I'm willing to bet you she has things that her husband can't just go use. But because this is a more tangible possession like a car then now she wants to stake claim to it some kind of way. Trust me, she's up the creek without a paddle on this one as many who responded to her stated. It just sounds to me like this is a woman who will not be told what she can or cannot do, and in this case she is going to be told she can't just take his mom's car when she wants to. If one of my parents gives me something upon their death then I would be protective over it too. I wouldn't care if it was my momma's favorite toothpick, if I say don't use it then I mean don't use it.
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