If my parent’s home was titled as “both names, husband and wife”, do I have to go through probate to have their names removed and only my name listed?

Husband died 4 years ago. Residence/land valued at about $190,000. Current mortgage is $160,000. There was no Will.

Asked on September 21, 2012 under Estate Planning, Washington


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

This is not going to help. You need to see whether the title states joint tenants, joint tenants with right of survivorship or tenants in common.  If joint tenants or with right of survivorship, the surviving spouse gets the title to the home without need for probate or will or trust. It falls outside of that. If tenants in common, it is divided by the probate laws in your state and will most likely need to be probated because if the surviving spouse cannot make the mortgage payments, the issue will be if others need to refinance the property and therefore the title may change, as well as the mortgage note.

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