What are next steps or if I will be able to keep the house if both of my parents are deceased and the house is mortgage free? 24 Answers as of May 22, 2014

My dad for five years and I was his payable on death but no will. My mother just passed 3 months ago and no will or assets besides their house which is joint-owned by both of them. She has huge medical bills from when she died due to no insurance.

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Edward L. Armstrong, P.C. | Edward L. Armstrong
If your parents owned the house jointly and she survived your father leaving huge medical bills, the medical providers can force a sale of the house to pay those debts. In order for you to get title, you would have to open a probate estate for your mother and the creditors would be given notice, etc. I can't offer much hope for keeping the house under the circumstances but you should hire counsel to help you through the estate situation.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 5/22/2014
Christine Sabio Socrates Attorney at Law | Christine Socrates
You will need to probate the house if there is no transfer on death deed or affidavit designation. If it goes through probate, the medical bills will need to get paid first before the house can be transferred to you. Often, the medical bills can be negotiated or settled if there are little to no assets in the estate. You should consult with a probate attorney to evaluate your case.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 5/14/2014
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
At a minimum you will need to open a probate for the last parent to die. Depending on the value of the house it may or may not need to be sold to pay creditors. If not, you would inherit it and get and executor's deed.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/25/2014
Estrada Law P.C. | Michele Ungvarsky
The medical providers may place a lien on the estate of which the house is an asset. All last expenses, taxes and funeral expenses must be paid prior to any distribution of the assets. Depending on what assets are available, the house may be mortgaged to pay any excess.
Answer Applies to: New Mexico
Replied: 4/23/2014
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
You have several issues and should see an estate planning lawyer ASAP.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/23/2014
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    If your parents owned the house jointly and your father passed 5 years ago. If his interest was payable on death to you then you would have received his interest at that time. Your mother's interest would have to to go towards paying the medical bills first. The law requires that a deceased bills must be paid in full before any gifts can be given to their heirs. If the house was jointly owned by your parents and your father's interest wasn't payable to death to you it would go to your mother. Then the house would be sold, any proceeds would pay off your mother's medical bills and, if there was any left over, it would go to you.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 4/22/2014
    Home Town Law, P.A.
    Home Town Law, P.A. | Sabina Tomshinsky
    You really should consult with a probate attorney in your area on your next steps. If you were the only child and the home was your parents' homestead property, a petition to determine homestead status of real property would have to be filed to convey to you, if you are indeed the legal heir, title to the property. Depending on the County at issue, this may be a stand-alone proceeding or part of estate administration.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/22/2014
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    Every estate must pay off all outstanding debts before the heirs receive anything. The house will probably have to be sold to pay off your mother's bills.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 4/22/2014
    James D. Lampathakis P.A. | James D Lampathakis
    The house will have to be probated The next step is a court proceeding must be filed It is possible that you will be able to keep the house.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/22/2014
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    Your mother's estate is responsible for paying the medical bills. If her only asset was the house, you can either sell it or obtain a mortgage to payoff the debts. You should discuss this with a local probate attorney to examine your options.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/22/2014
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    You should consult with a probate attorney. It sounds as if tile needs to transferred to your mom and a probate of her estate opened. Her valid creditors will be entitled to payment, that includes her medical bills.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/22/2014
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Next step is to hire a probate lawyer to probate the estate to obtain property title into your name.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/22/2014
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    If your mother died with no will, then her children inherit in equal shares. If you are the only child, then you inherit the house. Your mother's estate is liable for the medical bills.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 4/22/2014
    The Law Office of David L. Leon
    The Law Office of David L. Leon | David L. Leon
    I would need some more information about the house and about each estate. It is possible to put the house in your name, as it is likely an exempt asset.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 4/22/2014
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Sorry, since she was the last to die, the house will need to be sold to payoff her creditors. That includes the medical bills.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/22/2014
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    Your next and very first step is to see an attorney about probating your mother (and possibly father's) estate. You will want to do this before the companies who are owed the medical bills force you to. You need an attorney who will help you negotiate down the bills. If you want to keep the house, you will need to be able to pay off your mother's debt. Speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/22/2014
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
    Did your parents have any other children besides you? If so, each of you would receive a percentage. For example 3 children, each would receive 1/3. Your mother's health care bills are an issue which will need to be addressed, if she received any state assistance or there are liens on the property. In addition, the property was held in joint tenancy, that needs to be cleared. Contact a probate attorney to discuss these and any other concerns you may have regarding this property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/22/2014
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    What happens depends on a number of factors. If the house is JUST titled in your parents' names, then probate will be necessary. You do not say if you have any siblings or nieces and nephews of any deceased siblings. If so, they would be entitled to share in the estate with you. Given that there appears to be significant creditors, you need an attorney to review the situation with you and to advise you on how to proceed. Creditors can make claims against the estate for a very limited time. If they fail to do so, their claims could be barred. If they make claims and the estate is insolvent, then the claims may be wiped out. There are highly technical procedures which must be followed. If you do not go through probate, the statute of limitations on the creditor claims is three years. The creditors can file to open a probate estate, in that case. You may also have difficulty insuring or maintaining the property without probate. Lots of different considerations and possibilities. I would strongly suggest you meet with a probate lawyer to help you sort this out.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/23/2014
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    You will need to open your mother's probate estate to deal with the medical bills and transfer title to the house. Contact an attorney specializing in estate administration for assistance.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 4/22/2014
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    If you are the only child, you should file an intestate probate estate. However, you may need to sell the house to pay your mother's bills. Creditors come first.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 4/22/2014
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    If the title to your parent's home was in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship then your mother was the sole owner of the property at her death since she was the surviving joint tenant. As the sole owner, the property would be in her estate and subject to the claims of her creditors. The exact wording of the deed is critical in determining if the property was held in joint tenancy. If your parents owned the property as tenants in common, then you would have received an ownership interest after your father's death. The portion of the ownership interest you received from your father at his death would not be subject to your mother's creditor claims. Five years ago, when your father died, Illinois did not permit payable on death transfers of real property. Even now, after Illinois has a statute that permits transfers of real property on death, such a deed is highly specialized and is not fully compatible with joint tenancy ownership. If your father had any financial accounts that were payable on death and identified you as the beneficiary then you would have received ownership of those accounts after your father died.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 4/22/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    It is difficult to predict from the information which you have provided, but generally, if your mother was the surviving spouse on a jointly owned residence, then that residence becomes part of her estate and is subject to the obligations incurred during her lifetime, including medical expenses. I would suggest you confer with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/22/2014
    Fluhr & Moore, LLC | Steven S. Fluhr
    If she had medicare of medicaid pay for her treatment, the state would in all likelihood have a lien on the real estate. If not, you have two ways to proceed. One is to open estate and see if any of the creditors file a claim in six months. The other is to sit back and wait. After one year, you can not open estate, but would be able to get property in your name in other ways. You should contact an attorney immediately to see which way is best.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 4/22/2014
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    If your dad passed first, and your mom and dad were joint owners of the house, it first passed to your mom and now it needs to be probated. her creditors could come after any equity in her estate, e.g. the house. please contact a probate attorney to see what can be done.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/22/2014
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