i live in PA and owned my home before marrying. the deed is still in my name as is the mortgage. is my husband entitled to anything regarding the house?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Pennsylvania
Welcome. This site allows for a general response that will help you with your legal issue. If necessary, for specific advice contact a local attorney. I am happy to help. If you need clarification, hit reply and ask a follow up question prior to providing a rating. Since this question is in the Estate Law section, this answer pertains to what happens to separate property when one spouse who owns separate property dies. The issue is whether a surviving spouse has a right in the separate property of the decedent spouse. The spouse who owned the property separately can give the property to someone other than the spouse in a Will. However, the surviving spouse can elect to take 1/3 of the probate estate. For example if the home is worth $100,000 but the total estate is $300,000, the decedent spouse can give the house to someone else but the surviving spouse is entitled to at least $100,000 of the Estate. A second example is if the house is worth $100,000 and it is the only asset in the estate. If so, then the surviving spouse would be entitled to at least a 1/3rd of the house. The surviving spouse's right is called a right of election. Generally, this election must be made in writing and delivered to the clerk of court within 6 months after appointment of the executor. This explanation informs you of the law, is informative and helpful. If you need clarification, hit reply and ask a follow up question. Otherwise, if you are satisfied with this response now, please provide a positive rating so I can get credit for this answer. Thank you.
i was more interested in the status if a divorce is involved.
It is rather complicated as you can imagine. Generally, separate property acquired prior to marriage continues to be separate property. However, if the couple lives in the house together and have made renovations, improvements, additions or the like, and the improvements added to the value of the home, then the increase in value would be considered marital property. In other words, if the property is kept separate before and after marriage, it remains separate property. If the property has improvements and the like, then the increase in value may be considered marital property subject to distribution pursuant to the Court. In other words the spouse can acquire an equitable interest in the property. Please note that each case is fact specific as you must realize and your particular situation may be different than other situations. If you need further clarification let me know by replying; otherwise, please provide a positive rating so I can get credit for helping you.
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