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Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

This is very unfortunate for your client and highlights the reasons why wills and having a lawyer to answer questions about how title should be held are so important.

I had one once where the husband passed away and he was the only one on a BofA loan.  The wife told the bank he had passed and they wouldn't let her make the payments because she wasn't on the loan (even though she was on title).  They were selling anyways, but it was a frustration that she did not need.  We did put her in touch was a top notch real estate attorney to try and help her.

Aug 22, 2022 08:26 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

People can never ask too many questions to ensure that what they do and how they do have their INTENTIONS legally covered. 
It is unfortunate however too many people die and leave this kind of story (legacy) behind. 

Aug 22, 2022 08:17 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate Brokered by Real - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

How unfortunate! It's so important to make sure loved ones are taken care of  prior to passing or this type of scenario can/does happen. I also agree with Candice that you should make this a blog post.

Aug 22, 2022 11:10 AM
Don Baker
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA
Lake Sinclair Specialist

why would he pay the taxes if he doesn't own the house?  Who is inheriting his wife's estate?  Do they have kids who could just sign a quit claim to put the deed in his name?  And yes I knew.

Aug 22, 2022 09:54 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty Evolution - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

I think laws, at times, are written in a manner to be coinfusing.

Aug 22, 2022 09:33 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

Great reminder of why a buyer, all the way back to the beginning of time, should get an attorney involved. As small as my estate is I have all legal bases covered with a will and more.

Aug 22, 2022 09:13 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

This should be posted as a blog post. Very important to know how to hold title and why!

Aug 22, 2022 08:18 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Speak to an attorney in your state. Don't ask for random advice.

Aug 22, 2022 02:10 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

There is a solution to every problem even 2 or 3 or more. The hunt is on when we come across a challenge. Sherlock Holmes said it best: The game is afoot. While I respect an obstacle, the show (life) must go on!

Aug 22, 2022 11:07 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Agent Retired

That is what would happen in IL also. That's why you have to do things correctly at closing on the deed & then as years go on additions

Like Candice eluded to - the bank sometimes will call the note due on the widow.

Aug 22, 2022 10:03 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

This is so unfortunate. Yet, it should have been foreseen. A visit to an attorney could have saved this home problem and potential problems with any other assets of the deceased.

Aug 22, 2022 02:11 PM
Jerry Lucas
ABC Legal Docs LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Notary Training, Consulting. Colorado Springs, CO

As proof of an informal common law marriage, a couple can file a form with the county clerk.

TX Sec. 2.401.  PROOF OF INFORMAL MARRIAGE.  (a)  In a judicial, administrative, or other proceeding, the marriage of a man and woman may be proved by evidence that:

(1)  a declaration of their marriage has been signed as provided by this subchapter.

Sec. 2.402.  DECLARATION AND REGISTRATION OF INFORMAL MARRIAGE.  (a)  A declaration of informal marriage must be signed on a form prescribed by the bureau of vital statistics and provided by the county clerk.

Without a JTWROS deed, will, trust, or surviving spouse, the property goes to the next of kin as prioritized by Texas intestate law Sec. 201.001

If a couple chooses not to create an estate plan, the state govt provides the default estate plan.

Aug 22, 2022 09:08 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Oh, I'm so sorry! What a sad reminder that we need to have our affairs in order, long before the time we need it. It's so unfair to leave this to loved ones to deal with.

Aug 22, 2022 09:42 PM
Karen Climer
Demetree School of Real Estate - Orlando, FL
Teaching people to pass the real estate exam

Right of survivorship is covered in prelicensing classes.  

People always say, "You'll never use anything you learn in real estate school."  It's amazing how much you learn in prelicensing that would help you in the field if you knew it.

You would still want to seek legal counsel, but you would know what to ask the attorney.

Aug 23, 2022 01:42 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I have seen similar situations where they went before a judge with the proof they they were together all this time and the judge made it right.

Aug 22, 2022 09:44 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I am aware of inheritance laws in my state. Who does own the house?  If it's inherited jointly between spouse and children in my state kids can simply quit claim to the other parent.  If there's his and her kids it could be an issue.

Aug 22, 2022 09:29 PM