If the example below applies to you then you must adopt a trust or a will to solve the problem and protect your loved ones. If you know somebody who might be subject to the example below please forward this message to that person.
Dan and Michelle are married. The home they live in is Dan's separate property valued at $400,000. Dan and Michelle do not have any children, but Dan has an adult son from a former marriage. Dan dies. One half of the home ($200,000 value) is inherited by Michelle and the other one half ($200,000 value) is inherited by Dan's son who demands that Michelle buy him out or he will move in with her. The result would be the same if Dan and Michelle owned the home as community property (not community property with right of survivorship).
Arizona law of intestate succession provides that when the decedent is married and has one or more children with a person other than the decedent's spouse one half of the decedent’s separate property goes to the surviving spouse and one half of the decedent's separate property and the decedent's community property passes to the decedent’s descendants.
Solution: If Dan wanted Michelle to inherit all of the home and all of his other separate property he should have signed a will or a trust that left the home and Dan's other assets to Michelle.