My dad passed away with no will. His girlfriends name is on his mortgage as co-borrower. Is she automatically entitled to everything he owned?

My dad passed away with no will. His
girlfriends name is on his mortgage
as co-borrower. Is she automatically
entitled to everything he owned?

Asked on April 5, 2017 under Estate Planning, Michigan

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, she is not entitled to all of your father's assets. Since your father died "intestate" (i.e. without a Will), his estate will be distributed according to state intestacy laws. Typically, is such as case, the deceased's estate is divided between their spouse, if any, and their children. A girlfriend would have no legal standing as an heir. As to the house, that is a different matter. If she co-owns the home with "rights of survivorship (this designation must be worded as such on the deed), then upon your father's death, she became vested with 100% ownership. If, however, the deed did not specify survivorship rights, then the law will presume that she is a "tenant in common". This means that your father's 50% share of the house is now a part of his estate, so it will be distributed as all the rest of your father's property (both real and personal).


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