Does there have to be a Will to inherit a house?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Does there have to be a Will to inherit a house?

My friend is currently living with a man not married. He has an adult daughter but wants to leave his house to my friend. If he puts her name on the deed or title, is that all it takes for her to inherit the house or would his daughter still have a claim to it. Does there have to be a Will specifically leaving house to my friend?

Asked on April 5, 2019 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Since your friend and the man are not married, it is advisable to have your friend's name on the deed and for there to be a Will leaving the house to her. If there is no Will, the daughter will claim the house under intestate succession.  Intestate means dying without a Will.

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