I need advice about my mortgage

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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I need advice about my mortgage

I bought my house 15 years ago, got
married after the 1st year, need to know
what my options are to insure my wife
would get to keep the house if something
were to happen to me. Still have 15
years left on the mortgage

Asked on July 5, 2018 under Family Law, Kentucky


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In a divorce, she would have no rights to it: as something you purchased pre-marriage, it is not marital prperty.
If you pass away while still married, she will be entitled to a share of your estate--so an interest in the house--even if you try to disinherit her or leave her only a small amount: without getting bogged down in the details (which vary by if you had a will no will; if you had children and how many; etc.), assume that she will get between a 1/3 and 1/2 interest in the house if you pass away before her while the two of you are still married. Your state (like many states) prohibits disinheriting a spouse and ensures by law they get part of what you leave behind. Any mortgage would still have to be paid off when you die, however, or else the lender can foreclose and whomever is inheriting the home (e.g. wife; wife plus your children) will lose it. The lender's right to be paid or foreclose supercedes inheritance rights.
There are ways to minimize your wife's interest in the home, or *possibly* protect it entirely by putting it in the right kind of trust (though putting property into a trust has it's own complications and downsides): if you want to keep the house as much as possible out of your wife's hands if you pass away before her, speak to a trusts and estate's attorney.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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