Undisclosed Spouse

An undisclosed spouse is a person who is not mentioned in a will or other legal document, even though they have a legal right to a piece of property. The undisclosed spouse most often is revealed in legal will proceedings. A person’s legal will is the most important document for determining who gets that person’s property after his or her death. A will, however, cannot override state property statutes. Even if a person’s spouse is undisclosed in the will, they can have a legal claim on some piece of property if the state’s laws allow for that claim. In states with community property statutes, a spouse will almost always have the first right to some property. When a couple has purchased something together or when both spouses have their names on a real property contract, the undisclosed spouse will often have a much easier time putting in a legal claim on that piece of property.