If my mother-in-law passed away and did not leave a Will but her children decided that my wife could have the house, what do we need to do to get it into her name?

Asked on February 9, 2016 under Estate Planning, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If the estate has not yet been distributed, then assuming that your wife is one of the children who stand to inherit the house, if the other children (her siblings) "disclaim" or refuse the inheritance of the house, the house will go entirely to the only heir (your wife) who does not disclaim it.
If it has already been distributed, then the other children need to quit claim it to your wife--i.e. execute quit claim deeds giving up their interests in favor of your wife.
Either way, since the paperwork is critical and can be technical--and if it's wrong, your wife will not end up owning the home--you are advised to retain an attorney and let the lawyer help with this: it will be a worthwhile investment. Before doing that, however, consult with a CPA--you want to understand any tax consequences and be comfortable with them fore acting.

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