What to do if my wife died without a Will and the only estate is our paid off home?

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What to do if my wife died without a Will and the only estate is our paid off home?

I cannot borrow on the home for improvements because she is still listed on the deed. She passed away 2 years ago. I have consulted one attorney and he quoted me $2,500 to probate the estate. Is this a reasonable price for a probate? I live in a community property state.

Asked on August 14, 2013 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

Nathan Wagner / Law Office of Nathan Wagner

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you and your wife are on the deed as joint tenants with right of survivorship or as tenants by the entirety, you do not have to probate the estate. The property would pass to you automatically upon her death. Otherwise, you have to put her estate through probate. The amount of legal fees varies quite a bit across the country, so I cannot say whether the attorney's quote was reasonable. I can only suggest getting a quote from a second or third attorney in your area and comparing the fees. 


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