If my husband passed without a Will but I am on the deed, do his children get half of the house?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If my husband passed without a Will but I am on the deed, do his children get half of the house?

My husband died and left a $102,000 mortgage that I’m paying by myself. Unfortunately, there was no Will so now his kids think they’re entitled to his share because he supposedly inherited said house from his mother, yet we bought it from the estate which is why a loan was taken out for the house. A week before his mom passed she called her bank paid off all loans and had paperwork sent to give my husband and I the house which all his brothers knew about and said yes to. When she passed my late husband ask his

brother if the paperwork got turned in and he stated mom died, so I couldn’t turn in as it’s too late. My husband was too heartbroken to fight the issue. This is just mind boggling.

Asked on December 28, 2018 under Estate Planning, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your state is a community property state. That means that anything OTHER THAN an inheritance which is acquired during marriage is community property, effectively owned by both spouses. So if you bought the house from the mother's estate, rather than inheriting it, it would be community property. If so, then you inherit it, because the surviving spouse gets all community property under your state's rules for "intestate succession," or who gets what when there is no will.
Also, you write that you are on the deed. If you are on the deed as a "joint tenant with right of survivorship" or JTROS, then you automatically got the house without it going through probate or inheritance when your husband passed: when one JTROS passes away, the surviving JTROS, due to her "right of survivorship," gets the property. JTROS is the most common way for spouses to own real estate, so it's likely this was the case.
Therefore, it does not appear that any "share" goes to the daughter or other children, based on what you write; the home should be yours.

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