How do I buy my mother's house after she died without a will? 26 Answers as of August 21, 2012

My mom recently died without a will. My sister and I have been named administrators of her estate, and have been living in the house before (and since) her passing. My sister and I would like to have the house put in my name so that I can refinance the mortgage and keep it (we'll both be living in it). My mom's estate is insolvent, and the mortgage on the house is by far the largest debt owed. The credit union won't/can't proceed, however, until they have the proper documentation that the house is in my name. How do I proceed?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C.
DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
Deed the house to you or deed it to you and your sister then have your sister deed her interest to you. As court appointed administrators of her estate, you can transfer title with a Court Officer's Deed to make distribution.
Answer Applies to: Iowa
Replied: 8/21/2012
Law Offices of Michael N. Stafford | Michael N. Stafford
You need to consult with an attorney and have your mother's estate probated without a will. You need a court order from the probate court placing the property in your name.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/21/2012
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
You would have to probate the home and buy it out of probate to get marketable title. If the home is upside down, you will need the bank's consent to purchase for less than the debt owed.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/21/2012
Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
The property will have to be probated to get it into your name. You should consult a probate attorney about how to proceed.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/21/2012
Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
You and your sister must deed the property to you as personal representaitves of the estate, But if the estate owews creditors they have a right ot the proceeds of house,you need to see a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/21/2012
    Jay W. Moreland, P.A.
    Jay W. Moreland, P.A. | Jay W. Moreland
    You need to set up an appointment with an attorney. It is likely that the home was your mother's homestead. If so, you would need a court order that establishes that. The homestead passes by operation of law to your mother's heirs (likely you and your sister). If it is not homestead, the property will have to pass through her estate to you and your sister. In either case you will need an attorney to help you with this. Once the property is in your name and your sister's name, the credit union should be willing to deal with you.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    This is actually a fairly complex question. I think you can do this, but not with a generic approach from a website. If you don't have a lawyer helping you with administration of the estate, I recommend getting one to help you work through this mortgage issue.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    The Law Office of Eric J Smith
    The Law Office of Eric J Smith | Eric Smith
    Speak to a local attorney or title company. If you are in Texas, you may still need to do a determination of heirship, or you may be able to get by by having 2 uninterested persons familiar with the estate swear out affidavits of heirship and file those affidavits in the county deed records. One of those processes will transfer title from your mother to her heirs. Then the heirs must execute deeds transferring their interest in the property to you. When you are the sole owner of the property, the credit union will be able to renegotiate the mortgage with you, but they are not required to do so.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski
    Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski | Gerald A. Bagazinski
    You should contact an attorney and have a personal representative's deed prepared. The attorney should order title insurance. If the property is underwater, I would suggest a short sale or loan modification.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Horn & Johnsen SC
    Horn & Johnsen SC | Dera L. Johnsen-Tracy
    You should work with a probate attorney and a title company to purchase the house from your mother's estate. Your mother's mortgage should be paid off, a new mortgage should be issued to you, and a deed transferring the property to you (signed by you and your sister, as administrators of the estate), should all be handled at closing.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Gordon F. Gault PC | Gordon F Gault
    The probate estate needs to convey title to you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Lisa L. Hogreve, LC | Lisa L. Hogreve
    There are several ways to handle this. However, if this is a Florida probate, and you two have been named as administrators, you are already represented by counsel (in Florida probate proceedings must involve an attorney). Speak to your attorney about how you wish to handle the property.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Regrettably, you identify your mom's estate as insolvent. Was this a court finding? You must sell the assets of the estate to satisfy the creditor's claims. Once these claims have been satisfied, the remainder of the estate is distributed between the beneficiaries. The house may not be available to you.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
    If the Orphans' Court in your Maryland county approves a distribution of the house to your mother's heirs (you, your sister, and possibly others), then the personal representative(s) may execute (sign over) a deed to the heir(s). Changing the title on the deed will "put the house in your name." If you need to "buy out" the other heirs' shares, then you all can determine what you would need to pay them for their shares in the property.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Law Office of George M. Derieg
    Law Office of George M. Derieg | George Derieg
    You will have to go through formal probate in order to change the title of he house.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Assuming you are the only two heirs, and you have letters of administration issued by the court, then you will need to obtain an order from the court distributing the property to you and your sister, certified, to present to the credit union, who can then commence to refinance the property into your name with your sister granting her share to you, and paying off the old loan that was in your mother's name.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Martinson & Beason, PC
    Martinson & Beason, PC | Douglas C Martinson II
    You should discuss this matter with your attorney or hire one in the county where the will is being probated. You would either need to pay off the debts of the estate or file an Insolvency Petition with the court. Most creditors will negotiate their claims to a lower amount so a good probate attorney will be able to help you. You will also need an attorney to close the loan on the house.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    The property would be deeded from the estate to you. The mortgage would be paid off or refinanced, if possible. And you would pay your sister half of the equity in the home. It is not difficult, but if you are not sure how to proceed, an estate planning attorney can help you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    McCleary & Associates, PC
    McCleary & Associates, PC | David M. McCleary
    You will need to start a probate proceeding to transfer the house.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    The Curran Law Firm
    The Curran Law Firm | Maura Curran
    You need to probate your mother's estate and in Florida because there are at least 2 beneficiaries, you will be required to hire an attorney to help you with the probate process. For a variety of reasons I cannot tell you how to transfer the house. To get the best advice on the transfer of her property, you should hire an attorney to probate the estate and discuss your options.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Meissner, Joseph & Palley, Inc.
    Meissner, Joseph & Palley, Inc. | John Palley
    It sounds like you need to file for probate. With that you can talk to the mortgage company about re-doing the loan and/or having you assume it. I would hire a California probate attorney to get this started for you ASAP. I will be available Monday morning if you want to talk about your case. My firm handles probate cases throughout California.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC | Barry D. Broome
    The administrator of your mother's estate will have the authority to sell the property, pay off the debts and either of you can buy the house from the estate. An estate attorney can assist you in this process.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Timiney Law Firm
    Timiney Law Firm | Leigh Anne Timiney
    I am very sorry to hear about your mother's passing. Unfortunately, I do not have enough information to fully answer your question. I understand your mother died without a will. The answer to your question depends in large part on which state your mother was living in when she passed away, where the house is located and whether or not your mother was married at the time of her passing, among other things. I would suggest that you contact an attorney in your area who handles estate planning and probate matters and seek a consultation. What you would like to do can be accomplished with the proper procedure and documentation, but an attorney would need to speak with you and determine a lot more information before they would be able to proceed.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Edward L. Armstrong, P.C. | Edward L. Armstrong
    Has and estate been opened in the probate division of the Circuit Court? If not, this needs to be done within the year after your mother passed away. Are there other heirs - other siblings? What about children of deceased siblings? I think the best thing to do when the estate is opened is to petition the court for an order distributing the house to you. The order will protect against any future claims of violations of fiduciary duties, self-dealing, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/21/2012
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney