If a house is left to a surviving spouse, does the ownership pass on to the blood heirs of the deceased if the surviving spouse remarries?

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If a house is left to a surviving spouse, does the ownership pass on to the blood heirs of the deceased if the surviving spouse remarries?

In our situation my father left my stepmother everything in his Will (I have yet to see the Will). However she never probated it and now 4 years later is planning to remarry. She is now trying to sell the house that was left to her as surviving spouse before she remarries. We want to know if she is doing this because the house would no longer be considered hers if she remarries or would that just not matter at all?

Asked on May 4, 2011 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for your situation.  The house is hers, regardless of her remarriage or not, as long as she was left same free and clear in the Will and without limitation.  Now, if she is going to sell the house then I am fairly certain that she is now going to have to probate the Will, especially if things are as I think they are here.  You state that your Father "left her everything" in the Will.  If the house was owned jointly with rights of survivorship  it passed to her automatically at the time of his death.   You have a right to see the Will and if she now has to transfer the house you probably will get it with notice of her intention to probate.  Then your questions will be answered. Good luck. 


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