What to do if my estranged husband passed away last week without a Will?

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What to do if my estranged husband passed away last week without a Will?

He had no Will. We have a house together, both of our names are on the deed. We have not been living with each other for awhile but never legally separated or divorced. What can I do to get people out of our house? They have no rights to the house or land. Do I wait for a death certificate or do I call the local sheriffs office there and do what if so?

Asked on March 14, 2013 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You are correct that the house passed to you automatically upon your husband's death by operation of the deed.  Therefore, you own the house.

Getting other people out of the house may not be as easy as calling the sheriff.  You probably will need to present or record the Death Certificate in order to transfer clear title to you.  If the people who live there have a legal claim to live there -- such as they are tenants, you may need to proceed with an eviction action.

I suggest you consult a local attorney for advice.  The attorney can tell you the proper procedure for recovering possession of what is now your house.


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