Ownership after one owner dies?

UPDATED: Feb 18, 2019

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Ownership after one owner dies?

My brother purchased a mobile home and a piece of land in 2005. His bank asked for a co-signer and, as his girlfriend was with him that day, she said she would co-sign. She has no money invested. He passed away in 2011 and a renter has paid the payments since my brother dies. Does she own the entire property now or a 50%, once the mortgage is paid off? He left no Will.

Asked on February 18, 2019 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Is she on the title/deed, or just the loan? She was just on the mortgage/loan, she has no ownership interest: the mortgage/loan does not determine ownerhip, just how has to pay the loan--and a girlfriend does not inherit unless there is a will leaving her something. (I.e. does not inherit when there is no will.)
If she is on the title/deed, how is she on it, and how did she and your brother own the property? If they were joint tenants with right of survivorship (JTROS), then when he died, she became the sole owner. But if they owned it as tenants in common, then she keeps her 50%, but his 50% would have gone to whomever would inherit when he had no will: his children/grandchildren, if he had any; or you and any other siblings if he had no descendents.

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