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VanDLaw, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 833
Experience:  Wills, Trusts, Probate, Inheritance Issues
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My mother in law passed away in October 2002. She designated

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My mother in law passed away in October 2002. She designated one-third of her property (2 family house and small amount of cash) to each of her 3 children. My brother in law was the executor. He did not tell my husband beforehand, but "bought out" their sister for $100,000 by obtaining a mortgage (the house had no original mortgage). He used the cash proceeds to do some repairs on the house, for which he did not consult with my husband. We have been giving him a monthly payment of what he asked for in covering the expenses (his mortgage and taxes). He has one apartment, we have the other. The house ownership has been transferred to my brother in law's and his wife's names, once again without my husband's knowledge. He stated that he now owns 2/3 share of the house since he bought his sister's share.

My question is whether my husband now has any inheritance rights at all under the will.


YES, your husband has the same inheritance rights as he did when this all started. There is an issue with your brother-in-law obtaining a mortgage, and putting his name on the deed, he is not a beneficiary, he is the executor! The Will should have been Probated and the property distributed according to the Will. If this was done, the house would have been titled in all three names, irregardless of who obtained a mortgage. Having a mortgage on the house, and who actually owns it (name on the deed) are two different things. One is a debt, the other is ownership. I am surprised that a mortgage company would close on a house without all the owners signing off, and Probate completed.


If one sibling wanted to buy the other one out, the deed again would have to be transfered into just the remaining two beneficiaries' names.

If the house ownership, the deed-not the mortgage, was transfered into your Brother in law, and wife's name and your husband has been left off, then that is incorrect. Your Brother in law as it stands now, could be liable to the Estate for mishandling of the Estate as Executor.


The three beneficiaries should have agreed before taking a mortgage out on a home, or selling the home and splitting the proceeds. If your Husband's name is XXXXX XXXXX the mortgage, and you are sure his name is XXXXX XXXXX the deed, then he now has no ownership interest at all .


I would see a copy of the deed, you can go to the property appraiser's office in the county where the land resides, and it may even be online. Many counties allow for searches of land records online. If your husband's name is XXXXX XXXXX the deed, this is wrong. I would also consult a Probate attorney immediately on this issue. The Estate was mishandled if what you are stating it is true, and your Husband as a beneficiary has the right to object in Court.

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