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Loren
Loren, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 30828
Experience:  30 years experience in the practice of estate law.
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My husband died last week. He had a short will that I was

Customer Question

My husband died last week. He had a short will that I was unaware of. Our property is jointly owned by myself and my husband. In this will he leaves his "share" of our property to his 4 children. It is my understanding that when a property is jointly owned by a married couple, if one person dies, the other automatically owns it. Am I wrong about this?
JA: Estate laws vary by state. What state are you in?
Customer: New York
JA: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?
Customer: I have the property dees.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Loren replied 2 months ago.

I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and my goal is to answer your question and provide you excellent service.

Expert:  Loren replied 2 months ago.

My condolences for your loss.

When you say "jointly owned", you are referring to ownership in joint tenancy, correct?

Expert:  Loren replied 2 months ago.

Are you online with me?

Expert:  Loren replied 2 months ago.

Well, in any event, the ownership interest of real estate which is owned in joint tenancy passes automatically, outside of probate, to the surviving joint tenant upon the death of the other.

So, you are correct, the joint tenancy property would not be included in the will left by your late husband and his interest in such property would go to you as the surviving joint tenant.

Expert:  Loren replied 2 months ago.

So, check your deed(s). If the deed says that your ownership is in "joint tenancy with right of survivorship" then there is nothing you need to do. Your late husband's interest goes to you by operation of law. If you wanted to sell the property or finance it all you would need to do is present a death certificate to the title company to prove your ownership.

Expert:  Loren replied 2 months ago.

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Thank you!

Loren

Expert:  Loren replied 2 months ago.

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