If my husband had no Will and we owned a house together that was in his nameonly, how do I get my money from the other heirs?

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If my husband had no Will and we owned a house together that was in his nameonly, how do I get my money from the other heirs?

My husband and I have remodeled houses for about 10 years. We borrowed money – a home equity loan – on the house we live in. The last house was bought and somehow got into his name only. Since his death I have sold the property but the money is now in probate. What happens if his 5 kids don’t sign the papers to pay off the loan? Probate closes in 4 months and what options do I have to recover the money?

Asked on February 18, 2011 under Estate Planning, South Dakota

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Are you the Personal Representative of the estate?  Do you have an attorney to help you with all of this?  You need to.  First, you have already somehow decided that the property was his alone and placed the proceeds in to his estate.  Whether or not you should have challenged that may be moot at this point in time.  The home equity loan is in both of your names? Then at least half of it is a debt of his estate, correct?  So his estate should pay off at least half of it but really an attorney needs to review it all to be sure.  What you really want is for it to pay off the entire amount, correct?  That may not happen now that the proceeds from the sale were designated as his alone.  Under intestacy what does it give you as the spouse?  Does it give you money up front and then a percentage of the rest of the estate (in NY you would get $50,000 and then a third of the estate)?  You really need legal help to sort this through.  Good luck.


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