How do my husband and I get title to his mother’s house if she died without a Will?

UPDATED: May 13, 2011

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How do my husband and I get title to his mother’s house if she died without a Will?

My husband and I want to get my mother-in-laws house in our name. She has died and I hold a mortgage on the property. She had no Will. There are 2 other children and 2 grandchildren from children who have died. 2 children willing to gift their portion. Not sure about grandchildren. What can I do?

Asked on May 13, 2011 under Estate Planning, Virginia


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Since the house was not transferred [prior to her death it must, unfortunately, go trough probate along with any other assets of her estate.  Depending on the size of the estate monetarily it is sometimes possible to do what is known as a "small estate" proceeding but houses in the mix tend to throw the estate in to a higher bracket making that unrealistic.    You are going to need help with all of this.  Everyone is going to have to be notified and the grandchildren do not have to give up their right to inherit their parent's portion of their grandmother's estate.  The issue of the mortgage is a big one as well.  Good luck to you.

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