In the event of my husband’s death, what happens to assets that are solely in his name?

UPDATED: Sep 17, 2014

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In the event of my husband’s death, what happens to assets that are solely in his name?

We have a money market account and a stock market account, which are both solely in my husband’s name. The house note is also in his name but the deed is in both of our names. If he dies and we don’t have a Will, what happens?

Asked on September 17, 2014 under Estate Planning, Alabama


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Since you do not mention a Will, I presume there is none. In that event, your husband's estate will pass according to the intestate succession laws in the state in which he is domiciled as of the date of his death. Basically, the surviving spouse and children share in the estate (typically 1/3-1/2 and 2/3-1/2 shares, respectively). However, any personal property that has a listed beneficairy, will go to that beneficiary; MMA's and stocks can be among this latter type property. If no beneficary is listed, then it goes into the estate with the deceased's other asets. As for the deed to the house, since both of your names are on it and you are married,as a rule such property usually passes to the survivng spouse. However, the property is still subject to the mortgage note, which you will have to continue to pay.

Frankly, there are many variables that can come into play which can change the above answer. Accordingly, you would be well advised to consult with a local probate attorney regarding all of this.

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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