Will I automatically inherit the house under my deceased husband’s name? 26 Answers as of May 27, 2014

My husband passed away and the house we have lived in for about 16 years together was in his name. Does it automatically become mine as the surviving spouse?

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Law Offices of Robert Beatson II | Robert Beatson II
Suggest you talk to an attorney who handles Federal/MD estate matters. Information will need to be assembled and carefully reviewed for a proper analysis. An experienced tax attorney in MD should be able to handle this type of matter and to protect the interests of the client.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 5/27/2014
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
Not in Nevada. You would need to probate his estate to get marketable title.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 5/6/2014
Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
Only if he had no children. If he has children you would receive what is called a life estate in the home. That is where you would be able to live in the property for the rest of your life and then it would revert to his children.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 5/6/2014
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
Not necessarily. His estate must first pay off all of his final expenses and any taxes owed. If there isn't enough cash, the house might need to be sold to pay off these bills. If you husband had a will and left the house to someone else, that person will inherit the property. However, if your husband didn't have a will, in most states you would be first in line to take title to the house. Any surviving children might also have a claim on the property.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 5/6/2014
The Center for Elder Law
The Center for Elder Law | Don Rosenberg
You will need to probate his estate. As for whether you receive it, depends on the value of the home.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/5/2014
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
    If this was your husband's separate property and your name is not on title, it will depend upon whether your husband had children. Contact a probate attorney to discuss your options.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/5/2014
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    No, since your name was not on the house, it will not automatically come to you. You should consult a probate attorney to review all of the facts and advise you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/5/2014
    S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
    The house would not necessarily become yours automatically. It would go to his estate and from there it would be distributed as part of his estate. There are a number of scenarios in which you could ultimately keep the house. For example, if your husband made a will in which he gave everything to you or at least the house to you, you would be able to keep the house. Similarly, if your husband died intestate ( i . e . without a will), and there were no children of your marriage or another marriage, you would receive the entire estate, including the house. However, if he died intestate and there were children of a prior marriage, they would be entitled to receive half of the net value of his estate, which could result in an ownership claim to part of the house. There are other possible scenarios, but it would be advisable for you to consult an attorney to determine, whether your husband left a will and, if so, to whom does he give his property, did he die intestate and how large of an estate did he leave.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 5/5/2014
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    Automatically, no. It sounds as if probate will be necessary. Please see a probate lawyer as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/5/2014
    The Bryan Law Firm, L.L.C.
    The Bryan Law Firm, L.L.C. | Douglas L. Bryan
    No, but it would be community property if bought during the course of the marriage. If it's community, you would have full ownership of your half of the house. His half would go to his children, subject to a usufruct (or right of use) until your death or remarriage. If the home was his separate property, his children would inherit the whole house.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 5/5/2014
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    If the house was in BOTH of your names it will most likely pass to you 100%.. If not it might go into his estate and then it depends upon whether all his kids are also yours.. if you had step children you get the first 20% or so plus 50% of the remainder in the absence of an estate plan.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/5/2014
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    No. If it's in just his name, and he has no will, then if he has children who are not also your children, you and his children split his estate.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/5/2014
    Law Office of Jeffrey T. Reed | Jeffrey T. Reed
    It is only automatic if your name was on the title as joint tenants. Otherwise you will need to go through probate to transfer title. If you are the only heir then it will probably be yours. If there are other heirs involved then you may only get a portion of the home.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/5/2014
    Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
    Only if he had no will and no issue. If he had a will it goes according to that. If not, then if he had issue, they get part and you get part.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/5/2014
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    As a surviving spouse, you have the right to inherit a certain amount of your deceased husband's property, regardless of what is written in his will (or if he doesn't have a will). If all his children are also your children (or if he has no children) - you have the right to inherit all his property. If you are the mother of at least one of his children and he also has other children - you have the right to the first $60,000 and 1/3 of the remainder If you are the mother of none of his children - you have the right to the first $20,000 and 1/3 of the remainder. If your share under the distribution shown above is equal to or greater than the appraised value of the home (minus any mortgage or other liens), then you can choose to receive the house. In any case, nothing here is automatic. You have to apply to the probate court and prove the various items.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 5/5/2014
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    No. If the deed to the house named only your husband then the house will become part of his estate at his death. If he has a Will then the house, along with his other assets, will be distributed in accord with the terms of his Will. If does not have a Will then the house and his other assets will be distributed in accord with the statute on descent and distribution. If there is a surviving spouse and no descendants then all to the surviving spouse. If there is a surviving spouse and descendants then of the value of the assets in his estate to the surviving spouse and of the value of his assets divided equally among his descendants, with the share that would have gone to a predeceased descendant being divided equally among the descendants of that predeceased descendant (for example: grandchildren would share the portion their parent would have received if alive).
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/5/2014
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    To you and the children if any by intestate succession.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/5/2014
    John Ceci PLLC
    John Ceci PLLC | John Ceci
    If your name is on the deed as his wife, the home is yours. If your name is not on the deed you are, in all likelihood, first in line to inherit the home. But the home still needs to go through the probate process to get your name on the deed. If the only name on the home is his, the only person with authority to transfer the home to you is his estate's personal representative. That could be you but you have to open an estate to do address this. Unfortunately I cannot be much more specific than that without reviewing pertinent documents. For example, you don't mention whether there is a mortgage on the home; who is liable for any mortgage and whether your husband had a Will. And, of course the deed matters too. But regardless of all that you really should contact a probate attorney to address this situation. If you don't, based on your post, you could be creating a mess for your heirs (and possibly his) if you don't address this now and leave it to others when you pass.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/5/2014
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    Not automatically, no. You need to go through probate to get the title in your name. Whether or not you are the sole beneficiary or whether you need to share the estate with anyone else depends on facts which you have not included in your summary. Are there any other heirs? Does your spouse have any surviving children or parents? If so, then you would need to share a portion of the estate with them.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/5/2014
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    Unless you were a Joint Tenant with him on the deed, nothing is automatic. You must look first to any trust or will your husband had and if neither were done, intestate succession will determine who gets his property. That is almost certainly you in that event, but your husband's estate will have to go through the probate process.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/5/2014
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    Not necessarily. There are factors that need to be considered, included, does he have a Will, children, when was it purchased, etc. You should speak with a probate attorney about the administration of your husband's estate.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/5/2014
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
    Yes, unless he did one of several things, made a Will, made a Trust, added another person as a joint tenant and had none of those but had children from another woman.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/5/2014
    James M. Chandler | James M. Chandler
    You will have to file a probate action to clear title to the real property and determine who the heirs are.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/5/2014
    Ben T. Liu Law Office
    Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
    You will need to probate his estate. If you are the only heir, you will get the house.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/5/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    It will depend on the laws in your jurisdiction and the other circumstances. See an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/5/2014
    Arthur H. Geffen, P.C.
    Arthur H. Geffen, P.C. | Arthur Geffen
    If he had a will and left it to you, otherwise it would pass to you according to the intestate laws of the state that you are in. If your husband has children from another relationship or marriage prior to yours, then in certain states they get part of the property.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/5/2014
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