Does my deceased mother’s second mortgage become a lien on her property or can the bank now foreclose?

UPDATED: Sep 20, 2011

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Does my deceased mother’s second mortgage become a lien on her property or can the bank now foreclose?

There are 2 liens and a second mortgage on my recently deceased mother’s house. The house is willed to 3 surviving children. I am the only 1 of 2 named executors who is willing to administrate.

Asked on September 20, 2011 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No, a mortgage does not become merely a lien after the mortgage holder passes away. Rather, the mortgage must still be paid or else the bank or other lender can foreclose on the property. Typically, the mortgage would be paid from the estate, during the time until the home is either sold or distributed to the beneficiary(ies). If payments are made on behalf of the beneficiaries, it would be appropriate and legally correct  to then reduce other amounts distributed to reflect that. E.g. to simplify, say there is one child who will inherit the home and $50,000.  Say that the estate pays $5,000 in mortgages and taxes to preserve the home while the will is being probated; therefore, the child should ultimately get the home and $45k, since $5k has already been spent to his benefit.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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