If my brother’s ex passed awayand there was no Will, what happens to the house they owned togetherwhich hasbeen for sale since the divorce?

There are adult children.

Asked on March 18, 2011 under Estate Planning, Missouri


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Well, it depends. If the house was owned as joint tenants with right of survivorship, then taking the issue of divorce out, the house would be now owned by the sole survivor, who would be your brother. Since there was a divorce and an assumed asset division prior to death, many factors come into play. Did the divorce mention the home and if so, was the court order to sell the home and split the proceeds or was that a decision between the parties outside of the order? Did the order mention who would get the home and who would (assuming a mortgage) be responsible for refinancing out of it? Your brother needs to review that divorce order along with consulting with a probate attorney if one has not been appointed yet by the family or court.  If the ex passed away, the divorce is final, then the adult children may have a stake in the home along with the brother, but again it all depends on how the court order is set out and if case law and or state law in your state makes mention of a death post divorce but prior to property sale.

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