My mother recently passed away and her only asset what a house with a mortgage, how can I avoid the cost of probate?

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My mother recently passed away and her only asset what a house with a mortgage, how can I avoid the cost of probate?

She named me sole beneficiary on her insurance policy. To my knowledge she never formally completed a Will. She has minimal assets 55K as her car is paid for and I am making payments on the home. She was receiving SSI benefits etc. I’ve looked at probate and the costs seem prohibitive considering the assets she left behind. I plan on maintaining the home but a probate finding should not supersede the loan agreement. How should I proceed?

Asked on May 13, 2015 under Estate Planning, Ohio

Answers:

Christine Socrates / Christine Sabio Socrates, Atty at Law

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the home is titled in your mother's name alone, then you cannot avoid the probate requirement. In order to tranfer the home, the mortgage would need to be either paid or assumed by yourself or another beneficiary. Or also can be sold to an outside party.  This is also true for the car.  If your mother did not have a will, then the laws of intestate succession will dictate who inherits her probate assets, this would not include the insurance policy or other assets that are jointly held or have beneficary designations.  If you have further questions or need assistance, please contact my office at: www.socrateslegal.com.  Good luck!


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