Is my wife automatically responsible for her brother’s mobile home? He passed away with no will and no other relation.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is my wife automatically responsible for her brother’s mobile home? He passed away with no will and no other relation.

My wife’s only sibling, brother, recently passed away, with no will. Both their parents are deceased and he had no wife nor children. He had virtually no assets, except a dilapidated mobile home, that he lived in. Per Iowa intestate succession, my wife is in line to inherit the mobile home. She wants no part of inheriting the mobile home. At this time her name is on no title nor contracts. Question 1. who is responsible for lot rent and utilities where mobile home is parked. 2. Does she need to file a disclaimer that she doesn’t want the mobile home? If so is there a standard disclaimer Iowa form and procedure?

Asked on November 15, 2018 under Estate Planning, Iowa


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your wife could only become liable IF she chooses to inherit the home: if not, she has no responsibilty or liability for it. As you correctly point out, she has the right to disclaim inheritance of the home; she can't be made to take it. The disclaimer must be in writing and should be filed with the probate court in the county where her brother lived. You and she can contact the court clerk's office for instructions.

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