What happens to a mortgaged house in the event of death?

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What happens to a mortgaged house in the event of death?

My husband was diagnosed with throat cancer and had his voice box removed earlier this year. I don’t think he will live very long. We just purchased our home last year so we have a high mortgage. The mortgage is a VA loan in his name only. The deed is in both of our names. I can’t get life insurance for him. If we divorced and he died would I need to pay the mortgage to have ownership of the house if he leaves a Will and leaves the house to me? If we stay married and he dies I will have to pay off the mortgage, correct? He is 60 and I am 57 and don’t think I would be able to make the payments.

Asked on November 24, 2011 under Estate Planning, West Virginia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In your situation, if your husband passes where the loan is solely in his name but title to the property is in the name of you and him, you will still have an ownership interst in the home as to your interest and any interest of his that he may give you.

To keep the home, you would have to continue making the monthly mortgage payments on the home or you would end up losing it in a foreclosure. Since you are not on the loan for the home, if lost in a foreclosure, your credit should not be impacted by the loss of the property.

If you divorced him and he passes, whether or not you have to make payments on the loan would be addressed in the marital dissolution decree.


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