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RayAnswers, Attorney
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Experience:  Texas lawyer for 30 years in Estate law
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In the State of if a deed to a house has only the name of

Customer Question

In the State of Virginia if a deed to a house has only the name of the deceased husband and the now deceased wife was listed as Trustee, does the house pass to his children or hers?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 11 months ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. I am Ray and will be the expert helping you today.

It appears if title was in his name and it was marital property each would have an interest here in the property.There would need to be two probates for each person and their shares pass under the Virginia laws of intestacy.

Virginia laws of intestacy..

If you die with:here’s what happens:

  • children but no spouse
  • children inherit everything
  • spouse but no descendants
  • spouse inherits everything
  • spouse and descendants, all of whom are descendants of that spouse
  • spouse inherits everything
  • spouse and descendants, at least one of whom is from someone other than that spouse
  • spouse inherits 1/3 of your intestate property
  • descendants inherit everything else
  • parents but no spouse or descendants
  • parents inherit everything
  • siblings but no spouse or parents
  • siblings inherit everything

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/intestate-succession-virginia.html

So here if the couple owned it as marital property, each spouse has half marital interest, so the first spouse deceases, if they had children the living spouse gets the half interest.If there were step children then the half goes 1/3(1/3 of the 1/2 or 1/6 of the half to surviving spouse and 2/3 of the 1/2 or 2/6th to the step kids, here again the surviving spouse has 1/2 (3/6) plus another 1/6 so 4/6 altogether.

The probate judge decides who gets each spouse's share using the above laws of intestacy.The judge as part of probate names legal heirs and their shares of the estate.Likely any children here be the common children or step children are going to have a piece of the pie as set out above.

You would also want to check the deed records to see if the property was transferred to a living trust, in that case the trust determines the shares.It is not clear this was done but you mention wife as trustee so thats another possibility.There would have to be a deed on file naming the trust as land holder in order to change anything here, otherwise the laws of intestacy apply.

I appreciate the chance to help you today.Please let me know if you have more follow up.Thanks again.

I wish you a happy holidays.

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