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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.


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