If you leave your estate to your child, what interest does your child’s spouse acquire in the inheritance? What happens if your child (god forbid) dies before you? Will their inheritance go automatically to their surviving spouse?

We get these questions all the time. When we’re asked, the short answer is always: “what would you like the answer to be?” Because we can write any arrangement you prefer into your estate plan.

But when you do not include a specific provision, there are some default rules that apply. It’s not unlike the rules about whether adopted children are included (they generally are, unless you say otherwise), or the presumption (in Arizona) that you have to live five days before inheriting.

How are they similar? In both of those illustrations, as in the effect of leaving things to your children, there are presumptions built into the law. But you can change the presumption. Join us for this week’s podcast episode, and we’ll explain the default rules about your child’s spouse (at least the Arizona version, anyway).

But Arizona is a community property state. Doesn’t that mean that half of anything you leave to a child automatically belongs to your child’s spouse? (Spoiler alert: no.)

These are some of the questions we discuss in this week’s podcast episode. We hope to explicate and uncomplicate the topic.

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