Who does ahouse go to if a spouse dies?

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Who does ahouse go to if a spouse dies?

I had to sign a prenup waiving all rights through time and death. The land issue does not bother me but the house we live in is included (on land). Will I have a place to live if my husband died or does everything go to his siblings? He has not made out a Will. He said that he told his family to let me stay. Is that good enough or am I essentially the housecleaner for his siblings future home?

Asked on February 6, 2011 under Estate Planning, Montana

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I sincerely hope that you had legal counsel before you signed the pre-nup.  If you did not it may be time for you to take it to someone to review.

If you signed away your rights to the land and the house, and he died without a Last Will and Testament in place, then the property would be distributed to the beneficiaries as determined by the intestacy statutes in your state.  Generally speaking, if you die without a spouse (and really, that is what it will be here since you signed everything away) and have children then the children inherit all. If no children then your parents.  If no parents then siblings.  And no, his word is worth nothing in light of the pre-nup and without a Will (which will say what, by the way? A life estate at the very least?). So your joke about house cleaning: not so far from the truth.  Good luck to you.


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