If I inherited a mortgaged home, what doI do?

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If I inherited a mortgaged home, what doI do?

My father passed away 30 years ago. My mom just passed 2 years ago. I’m an only child with no relatives which is why she figured that there would be no need for a Will. I am the joint tenant of “her” home, but the loan is under her name only. I’d like to add my name to the loan (I don’t qualify for a refinance) since I’ve been paying the mortgage payments.

Asked on July 14, 2011 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Your Mother was correct in her assumption that you would inherit through intestacy the same as if she named you in a Will "by operation of law" as one might say.  If, however, you are a joint tenant with rights of survivorship then the hoe automatically passed to you at the time of her death without need for probate of the estate.  But that really has nothing to so with the mortgage issue.  The mortgage is a contract between your Mother and the bank.  And the bank has a right to call in the loan at her death.  You can not just add you name to the mortgage.  You would have to refinance the property in your name only and remove her from the loan.  Please seek some legal help here.  Good luck.


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